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Waiting For Transplant
My history of heart problems goes back to 1985,when I had myfirst heart attack. in 1986, I had my second heart attack, followed by heart bypass surgery (double bypass) in Dec. 1986 I went back to trucking on the road again.
In Dec. 1988, while singing Country and Western music on stage at our local "Texas Opry Jamboree", I had another heart attack, right up on stage at microphone. I was rushed to hospital, got stabilized, spent 6 days in hospital, and went back to trucking again. Everything went fine for another 12 months.
In Dec. of 1989, another heart attack. This one was a ‘whopper’. in the next few weeks, my cardiologist, Dr. Mandviwalla, suggested heart transplant. The previous attacks had weakened my heart so much; 40% of heart was damaged. I waited on the transplant list for 9 months before I got the call from my Transplant Coordinator at St. Luke’s Hospital here in Houston; she said “get your toothbrush and come on down, there’s a donor in Florida”. (My coordinator knew that I had a great sense of humor, that’s why she threw the toothbrush bit in our conversation).
.The following morning, I had 17 kinfolks and loved ones on hand at the hospital to support me with hugs and tears. I went into surgery at 4 AM that morning. Three hours later, I was in Intensive Recovery. I stayed in hospital 17 days, went home with my new heart, and have been feeling great ever since. I haven't had any rejection episodes whatsoever..
One thing for sure, I have learned to smell the roses along the way and to be very thankful for my extended life. Sometimes, I really feel "Love" pouring out of every pore of my skin. I feel as though, someone stood back and poured a bucket of sweet honey all over me, by golly. It's such a great feeling! I do at times, think about my heart donor and his family in Florida. I really thank God for their compassion.
My meds. consist of daily doses of 125 mg Neoral, 150 mg Imuran, 5 mg Prednisone, 1 Baby Aspirin.
.A stent was placed in my heart artery in 1998. everything has been fine since then. I go back each year for my post-transplant check up. Since my first heart attack in 1985, I think that I've had around 25 Cath Tests up my groin. It's gotten so routine, that I just joke with my surgeon while he's doing his thing, while I watch that image on the monitor screen.
As you can see by the T-Shirts Bob does his part promoting transplantation, which is something we all should do, because if we don't as heart recipients who else will?
Bob also told me. "My heart was flown into Houston, Texas from Florida on a chartered jet. We had some T-Shirts back then that had on the front MY HEART HAS HAD AN OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE".......
This was written by Bob shortly after his transplant
One's life from beginning to end, is like a warm blaze in a fireplace from start to finish. Whenever a few logs are set ablaze, they seem to have a small gradual burn. When I see this, I am reminded of an infant crawling, then learning to walk alone.
The flames seem to get bigger and burn more briskly. This again reminds me of a youngster growing and experiencing life as it is, gaining knowledge and growing to adulthood.
At it's peak, the logs in the fireplace seem to emerge into a roaring flame. This brings to my mind, the fast pace part of life, in the years, when marriage, raising children, and working to keep life on track, takes up all of one's time. Their never seems to be enough hours in the day. Life in this period, is fully roaring, with many responsibilities. But, like the fire in the fireplace, life can be very warm and satisfying, if one chooses to let it.
Then, before you realize it, the logs begin a lower, more gradual burn, reminding me that with the children grown and out on their own, one may tend to slow his or her's own pace down to a gradual, more peaceful life.
Soon, the fireplace has only red hot coals, reminding me of retirement years. For extra excitement and a bit more happiness, one only needs to stir the red orange coals for a little flame.
When the coals turn grey and cool, that means to me that we've gone to Heaven to meet our Creator. Our fire has burned out in this life........
One more thought comes to me, is that when I received a heart transplant 14 years ago, it was as if God simply and with love....threw another log on my fire.........
“Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift – there is nothing small about it”.
For those of us who have been blessed with this miracle of a second chance at life – we surely embrace that thought.
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