Sunday, July 17, 2011

Second Annual Heart Workup Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning we'll be at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital for Bean's second annual transplant workup.  This is where they do all the same things they do at all her other biopsies, plus they check heart pressures and for narrowing and/or hardening of the arteries.  The cath takes a bit longer than normal, so the recovery is also a bit longer than normal, which can make for a long day.  But, it does not require an overnight stay, which I am thankful for.  I am interested to see if Bean will be any more accepting of the appointment this time.  Last time, she was a real bear to deal with during the hour and a half of pre-op we have to do.  I am hoping she is a little less of an angry Bean tomorrow, but I am not holding my breath on that one!

I did an event in Oroville for the California Transplant Donor Network this week.  It was a health fair and I just stood at a table and encouraged those who were not registered to donate to do so and to thank those who are already registered.  I worked with a couple whose son was a donor 11 years ago.  Their story was so touching and they are truly amazing people.  Their son was only 24 years old and died of a brain aneurysm during his sixth month on the job as a police officer in Sacramento.  They are Latino and the dad said that when his son came home from the Police Academy and said he was going to register as an organ donor, he told him no.  He thought it was wrong.  His son told him about the speaker who had come in to talk about organ donation and that he felt strongly about it.  A little over six months later, his dad had to come to terms with that discussion...since then, they have met the recipient of their son's lungs and their son's heart.  And they are obviously huge advocates for organ donation now.  Their son was the first Latino in 10 years to donate his organs in that organ procurement area.  Since then, the numbers of have really gone up in that group, but their son was unique and his father has become a big advocate to honor their son's memory.  His father has also learned how to sew quilts and has made four quilts using the patches from law enforcement agencies all over the United States.  Here is a picture of us in front of the one he had displayed at the health fair:
They were incredible people and I'm going to begin collecting more patches for them as I travel around for Speech and Debate and other things.  If you would like to send me a patch from your local law enforcement agencies (police, sheriff, etc.), just let me know and I will get you my address and send them on to this dad. His quilts have traveled around for both law enforcement and organ donation and he plans to continue to make more of them.  They have inspired me to write another letter to our donor family as it took them five years to feel comfortable meeting the two recipients they have met...and they are so appreciative of the ability to do so.

So, we are off to the hospital tomorrow and although it won't be a fun experience, we are thankful to have that experience, as we are each and every experience we are able to have with the Bean.

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