Six Months Later

15 Mar

Today is March 15th.  Six-months ago today Jody underwent one of the riskiest, most challenging surgeries that can be performed.  His life was placed into the hands of a talented surgeon, a team of knowledgeable anesthesiologists and a room of OR staff.  He was ultimately protected by The Great Physician himself.  A half-a year, 26 weeks, or 182.5 days ago, Jody was quite literally given the gift of life; he received a double-lung transplant!

The road since transplant has not been without its challenges but things are looking up.  Miraculously, Jody has avoided all the nasty stuff going around this winter and has not seen the inside of a hospital room since the day he was discharged from his transplant stay (October 21st).  Actually, this is the longest span of time that he has gone without being admitted to the hospital in over a year, maybe even two.  We’re so accustomed to him being in the hospital every two or three months (sometimes even more often) that it seems odd to have gone six months without it.  Could it be that he might go an entire year without being in the hospital?!?!

As healing continues, Jody has been enjoying the life of the rest of us, one where breathing comes naturally.  He can climb the steps to our second floor without needing to sit down and catch his breath at the top.  He can laugh freely without it turning into a 10 minute intense coughing fit.  He can spin and dance with our daughters without huffing and puffing and getting tangled in oxygen tubing.  These are simple things but in life they make up the big things.  These are the things we learn to really appreciate when they don’t come so naturally anymore.

Here are a few more simple big things that Jody has enjoyed over the last few months:

His birthday

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The ability to inflate a balloon using his new, properly functioning, air-filled lungs.

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A daddy-daughter date

Painting Date with Daddy

Having his central line removed after five months, which means he is finally free of all lines and tubes on his body.

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Getting back in his wood shop and building us a custom window seat with lift tops for storage.

(How wonderful it was to hear the sound of his power tools and to smell the old familiar scent of fresh-cut wood).

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Getting to use our snow-blower. Cold air and failing lungs do not get along so Jody has not been able to use this ‘toy’ for the past few years. His exact words after doing this were, “It’s such a thrill to be out there, doing stuff, and not hacking (coughing) away!”

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Six months ago Jody was sick.  On the outside he looked healthy, but on the inside he was struggling to do something so innate, so natural… breathe.  There’s no telling how long Jody would have lived had it not been for the selfless gift of a heartbroken family.  To them we will be forever indebted.

This was Jody six-months ago, life forever changed…

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This is Jody today… double-lung transplant survivor, living, breathing, and enjoying life!

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17 Responses to “Six Months Later”

  1. Dianne & Gordon March 15, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    We are so happy for you Jody, Tiffany and girls!! Praise God! He has heard our prayers!

  2. Sharon March 15, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    What a wonderful and precious gift. It is so great to see him be able to do the thing he loves.

  3. Sheryl March 15, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    Oh my word! 6 months already!! I can’t believe it! Jody you amaze me! ( you also Tiffany)
    I am so thankful for you both !! Just had tears in my eyes as I read this.

  4. Carol Woodring March 15, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    Thank God he is doing better and better with each passing day…..So happy for all of you 🙂

    • Judy Hill March 15, 2015 at 6:35 pm #

      I feel a little like I know your family. So thrilled to read how well he is doing. Is your world slowed down and you are able to get a little break from hospitals, appointments. I look at you think you have such strength. Blessing and prayers to the whole family.

  5. jamie March 15, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

    Best. Post. Ever. Ok, maybe the actual, Jody GOT Lungs Post takes the very best spot, but what a joy to see how good this transplant has been for Jody, to see your family returning to “normal,” and hopefully to far exceed that standard even. It really is amazing.

  6. Nicki G March 15, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

    Thanks for the update Tiffany, so happy for you and your family. Prayers for a year out of the hospital and continued days of enjoying his new lungs!!

  7. Anne Marcarelli March 16, 2015 at 5:33 am #

    God bless! Thanks for the wonderful news!

  8. Jamie Hess March 16, 2015 at 5:56 am #

    Tiff I am so glad to hear that Jody is doing so well! I saw you at church yesterday but I was in the kids classroom and it was service change so I didn’t get a chance to say hi. I will continue to keep you guys in prayer!!! Your strength through this entire process is truly inspiring and your ability to document it all so well is amazing!

  9. Pam March 16, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    Wow! What an amazing post today…made me smile. The journey has been so inspiring…and to see the photos of a healthy Jodi is such a blessing. He is very lucky to have such a great wife and nurse by his side…we all know you are a big contributing factor to his recovery. Tell him I LOVE the window seat!

  10. Edith March 16, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    Thanks for the update! What a blessing to be able to rejoice with all of you at the gift of life that Jodi has received. Thank you, Lord!!!

  11. dlnolt6@frontiernet.net March 16, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

    Praise God.   It is really great to see an d hear how well Jody is doing.  I feel really great to hear you are able to enjoy the simple things in life that we take for granted.   I know the whole family  is excited to have a totally healthy Jody in the house again.   God bless you as you continue to enjoy everything .   Want to come see you again Blessings Dennis Nolt

  12. Calvin & Connie March 18, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    I am celebrating with you. This is so GREAT. So many times I thank God for his hand on you, the timing, the donor, the surgery, and recovery. Love, Mom

  13. Tina Barkley March 19, 2015 at 4:52 am #

    It was such a pleasure to meet you yesterday. I am Tina we met in waiting area at Johns Hopkins. I love your blog and story you give hope to others struggling. Wishing you all the Best. Thoughts and Prayers are with you all.

  14. Carole pape March 20, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    I am rejoicing in what God has done in this past year! Jody looks wonderful! Your update makes me feel so grateful for all the things we take for granted. You have done a remarkable job as a caregiver and your faith is inspiring to all of us.. Enjoy your family, enjoy your health, enjoy your life! Will keep you in prayer.

  15. Candace Hansell March 26, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

    The balloon makes me laugh because it is amazing the simple things you miss when you can’t do them. My poor husband has to blow up all the balloons for the kids birthdays.

    • CF Wife March 26, 2015 at 11:35 pm #

      Soon he’ll sit back in amazement as he watches YOU blow up all the balloons with your new lungs. Can’t wait to hear you got the call.

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