Denise: What’s going on?
Jim: Penn called.
Denise: Yea? What’s up?
Jim: Get home now!
Jim: Hold on a second.
Denise: I’m not holding on!!! What’s going on? (I found out later that he was still on the home phone with Penn asking them to “hold on”)
Jim: ‘Nise!!! They’ve got lungs!!!! Come home now!
Denise: Ok, on my way now!
I get off the phone and look at the girl that sits next to me and say “Hmm…guess I’m out of here…”
I drove home in record time, got additional stuff packed, said goodbye to the dogs and cats, and we were out. Got in the car and realized we needed gas so we stopped at WaWa. Mental note: keep gas tank at ¾ full at all times!
On the ride to Philly I was texting rapidly to friends and family while Jim was making phone calls. We also kept reminding ourselves that this may not be it. It could be a false alarm. Really though, how can someone not get the slightest bit of excitement??? This would be an awesome life changing event for both of us!
After Jim finished with his phone calls I told Jim that I had a really weird feeling that I remember having once before but couldn’t place what it was. I thought about it for awhile and realized that it was the same feeling I had before I walked down the aisle on our wedding day; a feeling of unknowingness of the journey we are about to enter. The only way I could describe it is like having happy butterflies in my stomach.
So, we arrived at Penn, drop the car off and head straight to Admissions.
While all of this was happening we were both getting text messages with good wishes, prayers and a phone call from my friend Andrea (***thank you all for that***).
After filling out paperwork and providing insurance information,
Jim got his hospital bracelet...
...and the admissions person proceeded to tell us that his room is on the 12th floor. As she began to give us directions my cell phone rang. It wasn’t a familiar number. I answered and it was the transplant coordinator asking for Jim. I handed the phone over to Jim thinking that they were calling to see where we were at, nothing else. Then I hear Jim saying “You’ve got to be kidding me…No way…I can believe this”. The surgery was canceled...the donor aspirated into his lungs… **sigh** :’(
Man, I felt like we were on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy! This is just freaking messed up!!! This really cannot be happening!!!!
We were in no rush to get home; it was rush hour. So we walked to the gift shop for a drink. Unfortunately they do not serve hard liquor in a hospital gift shop! After the gift shop I stopped in the bathroom, sobbed for awhile and came back out…trying to stay as tough as possible. We were both hurting real bad. Words cannot express the feeling of loss I felt. I mourned for the donor family…I mourned for the life that I envision we will eventually have.
There will be a post that says Jim got his new lungs and is now breathing easy! Until then, we’ll just hang tough (or as tough as possible).
Love you all,