Friday, May 02, 2008

Buddy & Beverly

Buddy and Beverly called me last year in March, I do believe, to ask if I had a place to rent. Buddy was going on the Lung transplant list in a few weeks and they were going to move from Okeechobee, FL for the few months it would take for him to get a Lung transplant. I showed them Avanti (my larger one bedroom unit) and chatted up a storm with them. I adored them. Buddy was quite tall and thin, but had a scruffy voice and a great laugh. Beverly was just sweet. She was my height (5'2" or so) and had a voice that was just like silk. They talked about Okeechobee and their grandkids and using the computer and movies they liked and about the transplant and how I got through it all.

I left town for a few days and that was the weekend that Buddy and Beverly needed to move in, of course, so Tom went and signed the lease with them and gave them the keys. Tom nicknamed them "The Puppies" because he thought Buddy and Beverly sounded like puppy names. So from then on we affectionately called them "The Puppies"

The Puppies called today. I dropped mail off at the puppies place today.

Before Buddy was even officially listed on the Mayo Transplant list, he was called. They had a lung for him. Oh goodness, that was great news. Buddy was so tall that it really had to be a certain size lung to suit his frame. He received the lung and his recovery began.

He was the perfect patient. He healed well, he recovered well, he did his exercises, took his medication, and had the highest spirit. The grandkids came to visit, they sent cards and letters and pictures when they weren't there. It was my idea of a really great transplant experience.

About a month ago I got a phone call that Buddy was in the hospital and did I have place for them to stay. The lung had become fragile and Buddy wasn't doing so well. He had been in the hospital now for a month already. I didn't have a place for them, but I would put them at the very top of my list. Tom had a doctors appointment at Mayo last week, so we both made a point to go up and see them. I arrived first and I didn't even recognize Buddy. He seemed small and Beverly just lit up when she saw me, that was so nice. She looked remarkably well. I don't know if I could have looked so good after spending over a month in the hospital with a sick husband. Buddy knew who I was immediately and the three of us chatted for about an hour before Tom arrived. Buddy said that the 6 months post transplant was just the greatest time. It was his first time in a long time that he was active and healthy, he got to play golf and run after his grandkids, he didn't have to worry about getting a breath. He said that no matter what happened it was worth every second of the waiting, the testing, the transplant and the recovery. He was so grateful to have been able to be a normal person again. Beverly even said that Buddy lived every one of those days to the fullest and that it was so exciting to see.

A few days ago I got a call from one of my other renters that they were going to be leaving in two weeks. Great News! I love it when my transplant patients are well enough to go home. I called Beverly to tell her that I had a condo for her. It was my smaller unit, but it was available and it wasn't a hotel room. She called back to say that Buddy was in a downhill fall and that the next 72 hours would determine his fate. She didn't sound hopeful.

Oh dear.

I got an email last night that Buddy died on April 30th. I don't know any other details at the moment.

I am so glad I got a chance to meet these wonderful people. I'm so glad that Buddy got 6 months of a fairly care-free life. I am so grateful for the Mayo Clinic.

Thanks Buddy and Beverly for allowing me to be a part of your lives. My prayers go out to you and your family.


***Update. Beverly said that her kids were with her when Buddy died and that they made sure that she got home alright. I am so grateful that someone was with her and Buddy.

1 comment:

Denise said...

You are a blessing, Kristen.

I know you were feeling some pain, so know that you are in my thoughts.