Monday, September 14, 2009

So sad, so very sad.

I just have to get this written, I'll have another post later today, but I have to write this down.

One of our transplant friends lost his battle last night.  He'd been through hell and back and was never quite the same.  I didn't know him when he first arrived at Mayo and was so very sick with his initial illness that caused his liver to no longer function.  I didn't know him when he had his first transplant and thrived for those first few months.  I didn't even know him when he got his second transplant and was able to go home.  I heard that he was doing real well, though, as he was in contact with many of the people he met at support group and they talked of his progress.  Then something happened.  I think I finally met him somewhere between his third transplant and his fourth, when he and his family decided to move to Jacksonville because he wasn't getting the proper care in his home town.

If something were to go wrong in a transplant, this guy got it.  He used to come to support group and say that he can answer any question.  He was the poster boy for what can go wrong, but usually doesn't happen to the average person.  He was a fighter.  I can't say what went wrong with him as each time it was something different that caused his need for a new liver.  I believe that Mayo did everything they could for him. 

I saw him a few weeks ago in the hospital and he waved and said that he just had a fever, but he'd be fine.  I saw him at our support group potluck in August, he arrived just 10 minutes before Tom and I left.  I just rubbed his back and told him how happy I was to see him. 

The hardest part of the transplant process is seeing the people that don't make a full recovery.  We have such a very high success rate here (93% after 10 years, I do believe) and although the bumps in the road are common, almost everyone goes home to a wonderful new life.  We've been praying for this man for years now.  I'm so very grateful that he had these extra years to see his young daughters grow up a bit more.  He had a lot of bad days, but he had a lot of joy filled days, too. 

He was such an inspiration, mentor and friend to so many who needed to hear his story.   It was good to know you kind sir. 

Kristin

5 comments:

Peggyann said...

I am so sorry. I can't imagine the pain his family and friends are going through at this moment. My prayers are with them and all who knew him and took care of him.

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

I am so sorry to hear this K. God bless him and those he left behind.

Sharinskishe said...

How wonderful that he was able to be blessed with such great care there at Mayo in Jacksonville. I am glad that he was able to spend more time with his family, than he originally should have been able to do.

I don't know much about transplants, but I do know they are a blessing to the receiver. An extra day with loved ones on this earth is priceless.

I am sure that this wonderful gentleman was able to help a lot of other transplant patients with all the research that was done on his behalf. His complications have provided learning experiences for the staff and doctors at Mayo and that in turn will bless the lives of others.

Your friends life has been a miracle and blessing. His life has not been in vain. He has touched many lives, including yours and even mine now through your words.

Human life is wonderful and we can all be blessed in very special ways even when we have not personally met someone.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Have a wonderful day!

Shari

jennifer said...

Kristin I am terribly sorry. I know this was tough for you. Prayers for his family and for you as well.

Loria said...

wow Kristin, I was copying links of my favorite posts of yours and came across this one - I missed it back in September .. so sorry about this. Lori