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Posted 2019-07-27T15:54:59Z

Words from Rita....

I am now a little over 23 weeks post transplant and am doing miraculously well. There have been a few hiccups along the way since coming home, and though they were not unexpected or alarming, still not pleasant.  With some adjustments of my medication, symptoms and issues are being managed and I am now feeling great!  Though I am currently under supervision for cardiac rehab at UK, I hope to be able to manage that at home on my own very soon.  I continue to marvel everyday that God has given me a strong heart through the gift of another person's sacrifice.  There are not words to describe all the feelings and emotions that flow through my mind, heart and soul.  Life is a gift and I have been given the gift of life.[...]

Posted 2019-05-13T17:14:00Z

Home at Last....

After six months of residing at Mayo in Jacksonville, Rita is thrilled to have been released to return home!!  She arrived at Blue Grass Airport and was greeted by her family...lots of tears, and excitement, as well!  Before leaving Jacksonville, Rita, Rob and Jaime went out for a celebration dinner...recognizing Rita's achievements not only in the successful heart transplant, but in her dedication and success in completing her initial rehab early at Mayo. She will continue cardiac rehab at UK in Lexington, but return to Mayo for regular heart biopsies and any other necessary assessments and checkups.  Everyday that passes she will become more familiar with her "new normal" and make the necessary adjustments.  She will deal with fatigue during her early days at home, adjusting to life without the support of Mayo staff and a constant caregiver.   Rita looks forward to gradually catching up with family and friends.  However, initially she will not be quite ready for visitors.  Please be patient. I know you are eager to see Rita and she certainly wants to see you!  Give her some time and please call before stopping by the house.  [...]

Posted 2019-04-15T15:23:28Z

Another month has passed....

Can you believe another month has passed since the last journal entry?!  Funny, the months waiting for a heart seemed like an eternity.  When Rita was told after her heart transplant that it would probably be the end of May before she would be released to return home, oh, how long that seemed to her.  Last week she told me she has been so surprised how fast the time has passed…couldn’t believe we were already in the middle of April.[...]

Posted 2019-03-14T19:30:57Z

Progress...

It has been several days since an update has been provided on PostHope.  So, thought it was time to bring you more GOOD NEWS!  Rita is doing fantastic in every way!  Take a look at the picture of Rita and Eric...that was taken 2 weeks post transplant!![...]

Posted 2019-03-03T17:22:00Z

Wow and Wow!!

Where do I begin?   Mayos Heart Transplant team, the nursing staff and therapists are all blown away with how well Rita's body has accepted and loves her new heart!  The new heart beats happily (as Brian listened to check...LOL!)  and brings new life to all of her increasingly deprived areas prior to surgery.  There appears to be no permanent damage to her kidneys, which had been a growing concern during her journey.  With all tubes removed, no IV, no pic line and no infusion lines, Rita can move freely....though slowly on her walker.  She has welcomed the freedom and enjoyed the 6 loops a day around the hospital hallway.  [...]

Posted 2019-02-24T23:25:42Z

Not dreaming....

Rita is doing incredible!  Nitric oxide has been removed, catheter out, kidneys woke up and numbers are normal, blood pressure stabilized, pain is manageable.  Two chest tubes removed today with the hopes of the other two being removed Tuesday.  Temporary pacing wires will be removed Monday. She is no longer on any cardiac medicines!!  And she is enjoying solid food.  She has incredible color and a beautiful smile!  She keeps asking if she's simply dreaming![...]

Posted 2019-02-23T00:21:55Z

Day 3

Rita is still doing very well.  Since the nurses are titrating down her pain meds, she was more aware of her pain today.  However, she was able to eat some soft food for the first time and sit up in a chair for 3 or 4 hours.  If all goes well the rest of the day, the plan is to remove her from the nitric oxide around 8 pm.  When we first saw her after the heart transplant, there was a total 17 pumps, devices or other equipment hooked to her.  As of this afternoon, there is only 6.... that is progress!!  We are hopeful that maybe tomorrow she will be able to get up and walk a few steps around the room.[...]

Posted 2019-02-21T20:04:00Z

Day 2...

It is so exciting to share that Rita is doing great!  She is awake.  The vent was removed and she is breathing on her own.  She is coherent and knows everyone around her and is responding to all questions.  She asked us to sing "God is so Good" to her!  [...]

Posted 2019-02-20T18:09:00Z

Out of Surgery

Just notified that Rita is out of surgery.  Taking her to ICU, where she will be for at least the next week.  Even though she will not be awake, we are hopeful to see her later today.  The next 24-48 hours are critical.  I will continue to bring updates on her journey when available.  [...]

Posted 2019-02-20T17:32:52Z

Still in surgery....

We received a fantastic surgery update!!  The heart is in and it is beating on its own!!  Rita is still in surgery while they finish and close.  She will be placed in ICU following surgery.  The physicians are hopeful that Rita will be awake as soon as tomorrow morning.  Will post again when we have any additional updates.  Thanks for all your wonderful posts and comments of support and love!   [...]