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:
The ability to inflate a balloon using his new, properly functioning, air-filled lungs.
A daddy-daughter date
Having his central line removed after five months, which means he is finally free of all lines and tubes on his body.
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).
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!”
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…
This is Jody today… double-lung transplant survivor, living, breathing, and enjoying life!