I am very thankful I had a memorable first night in the hospital for none of us knew what was to come. Friday quickly approached and it was determined my kidneys and liver were on the beginning stages of shutting down. They decided Friday evening to do an emergency procedure to double blood flow, so doctors inserted a device called the Impella. My heart at this point was only pumping at 5%, so doubling blood flow would still not be very strong. After this procedure I did begin to feel better (so I’m told…I do not remember most of these days), however the Impella was not working well enough after about 12 hours. I needed something more. Because my heart was weak it was not pumping enough blood to my other organs, so at this point my liver and kidneys were shutting down even with the Impella device. I was at the top of the transplant list in a three state region, but if my other vital organs shut down I would be lowered on the list. Doctors deemed it necessary, in order to save my life, to perform open heart surgery and place me on a Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD). This is a machine that will pump oxygenated blood throughout the body. My left ventricle was severely damaged back in 2002 due to the virus, but now it was necessary to have full support from this machine that would inevitably keep me alive. We were told that the LVAD was only 3 years old so I am very thankful for technology and amazing doctors that keep up with all the changes in technology! If it weren’t for this new machine it was said that I “most likely” would not have lived through this day.
I am thankful that I was somewhat oblivious to what was going on around me. If I would have known or understood I am sure I would have been scared and anxious. At this point I was mainly sleeping, for the doctors said that was all my weakened heart would allow me to do. I remember time spent and laughs shared Saturday morning with my sweet nurse who bathed me. Then the next thing I remember was my family saying “Good-bye” to me later in the day. They knew that I was headed to major open heart surgery, but I do not remember being scared at all. Thank you, Father for letting me be unaware of my surroundings at this point! My mom told me later that she asked me if I was scared, and I responded with, “I have a calm all over me.” That was you Father! You comforted me…Thank you.
Up to this point I don’t think we realized how serious everything was. I knew this time being admitted, I would not be sent home until I had a heart, and that bothered me. I did not want to be this ill and I did not want to live in the hospital. When my parents were pulled in the consult room to discuss the LVAD surgery they quickly realized how serious things were. My parents were warned that I may not even be strong enough to make it through the surgery, but if I do that I am still critical and dependent upon a machine to stay alive.
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but the Lord is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalms 73:26 What an awesome verse! This completely means to me that the Lord is worth more than life. My heart may fail, but come what may. “Bring it on” as my dear friend puts it. Bring it on, Father! I am ready…for You are worth more than life.