We have finally reached the the Double Lung Transplant part of mom's journey. It feels like it took forever, but it was so worth the wait. Mom and Lee received a call around 9:15 Thursday night that they found a perfect match for her lungs and they needed to head over to the hospital. The surgeon had not looked at the lungs yet, but if they were viable, they would take her in for surgery. We thought she would receive that call between 12:30 am and 1:30 am. Well that time came and went. Around 2:15 they said it would be another couple hours. At 4:15 am Mom received the call that it was a go. She called me and said we have lift off! I was so asleep that I had to say...What does that mean? She said it was a go!
Then next step in our journey began. Mom and Lee waited for her to be taken to surgery. Michael and I raced out of the house to head over to Duke. We did not get to see Mom before surgery, but knew that was likely. They took her back around 6 am and we received notification that they started the surgery around 7:45 am. It was a VERY long day! A little after 4 the surgeon came out to see us. He said the surgery went well and they were good lungs. He said it was a one in a thousand opportunity to find a match for her.
We got to see her around 5:30 and she was still under anesthesia, but everyone said she was doing well. I saw her again around 6:30 and Lee and their Pastor, Tom, got to see her around 8 pm. It was hard to leave without her being awake. I hadn't realized that she wouldn't be awake when we saw her, but this is normal.
I called for an update before going to bed and she had started to open her eyes, which was great to hear. When I arrived this morning she was still on the ventilator, but was alert and smiling. They did plasmapheresis again today and after finishing that, they removed the tube. I saw mom for the first time in 2 years without oxygen. So amazing!
She is now talking and smiling. She truly looks great, she has more color in her cheeks. The Associate Pastor, Tim, came to see her and said it best - you are the only person in the ICU with this big smile! It is so true, she is so excited to have new lungs and is very happy. We still have a long road ahead in her recovery, but every step of the way is worth it.
In the ICU she has her own personal nurse, they have all been great and are super informative. I will post some pictures soon.
Thank you to everyone for your continued thoughts, prayers, calls, texts and emails. I will try to respond to all of you, but I'm sorry if I don't get back to you right away.