Dawn, her daughter Jessica along with my mother Linda and myself departed from the Gift of Life Transplant House approximately five twenty-five in the morning. We left on foot and headed about four blocks east to the Charlton / Eisenberg Hospital.
When we arrived, we met Dawn’s father Dan and step mom Bonnie. We greeted each other in the lobby and then Dawn and myself went to the five forty-five appointment line to get check in got admitted into the hospital for the big day.
I remember Dan telling us how calm we were and have been through these past days. We both smiled and led the way as we headed up to the 2nd floor to meet with out inpatient nurses and went our separate ways and started the process of putting the gowns on, the vitals, medications, medical questionnaire and education about today’s surgery.
Once we both completed all the pre-operation requirements, they allowed family members to join. At this point Dawn’s mother Mary Lynn and her friend Glenn arrived. Therefore, Dawn requested a chaplain (Joe, thanks Dan for his nick name) and we were gathered together in a circle holding hands, Dawn, Dan, Bonnie, Linda, Mary Lynn, Jimmy and Jessica. The chaplain said a wonderful prayer, provided blessings and we finished by saying the Lord’s prayer together.
A few minutes later Dawn was informed that she was going to be transported to the pre-surgery station. The time came for everyone to give hugs, kisses, blessings and wished her well as she was climbing on to her stretcher. I finished up by saying I love you and giving each other a kiss.
Now at this time we headed back to my room and waited patiently for my call. Finally, my stretcher arrived and went through the same process except for my Father-in-Law last words, I expect you to speak Polish upon your return.
I was impressed by how smooth these beds fly up and down the hallways. I felt like the person transporting me was running. Then suddenly, I was sitting still at the entry of the pre-surgery room waiting for a holding cell to be assigned for me. The door opened and all I could do was look for my wife and couldn’t see her in my sites. They backed me into my lane and put on the brakes and then I heard that lovely soft and kind voice of my wife. She was just finishing up with the Anesthesia doctor, Nurses and Surgeons and then they slid the curtain open and it allowed us to hold each other hands. We said I love you for the last time as they transported her to the surgery room.
Next it was my turn and went through the same process. Then the time came for me to be sent to the surgery room. Once I arrived, I looked for the stadium seating and there was no such thing. I looked around the room and everyone was so professional, kind and caring. The surgery room was in perfect working condition, the big operating lights hanging on the ceiling. The walls were tiled ocean Green and Blue. I remember looking over my right foot and saw a lady in the corner preparing the tools for the upcoming surgery. When I asked people how long they have been working here I was relieved and blessed. I new that moment that the Lord has placed us in safe hands.
Finally, I was greeted by my surgeon. Then the Anesthesia doctor asked for me to open my mouth and he looked down and said a three to four would be appropriate. Well I knew it was just a few minutes before the journey began.
I closed my eyes and said my final prayer and ask God to protect my wife and that these surgeries are now in his hands and we have no reason to worry due to our extensive faith. All I could think about is how my wife made such a sacrifice to allow us a wonderful life together as a husband and wife along with our children, family and friends.
My last thought crossed my mind as they were putting the mask over my mouth. My friend Karl saying you know Jimmy this isn’t going to be a walk in the park, I said to God that I will always be in your park and hopefully the one I return to is where my wife and I were married.
Approximately, at one o’clock in the afternoon, I heard my name being called, Jimmy, Hello Jimmy, Jimmy can you hear me. I was so out of it, I wasn’t sure what was taking place. As time proceeded the Anesthesia started to descend and I was able to figure out that I returned to the recovery room where it all began. I was laying there sedated for about an hour.
Finally, I was released from recovery and was transported to the transplant floor. Once we arrived at the tenth floor I noticed my mother in law and her friend leaving and I remember her saying she wanted to see me but they wouldn’t stop and kept pushing the cart and she gave me a kiss on the forehead and then I arrived at my room where my bed was placed next to the 5 X 5 window view where my view was restricted to the side of the Charlton building. I laid in bed facing straight looking at the wall ahead of me as I was so exhausted from surgery for the past five plus hours.
The nurse asked me if I would like to see anyone, so I asked to see my mother first. She came into the room and I told her I loved and appreciated her for being there for us during these past days and months. She told me that my dad had arrived, and I told her to please go get him, I was so proud to see that both of my parents were there for me upon my return. I told them that I loved them for being my parents and being there for me during the good and bad times. My dad said that Dawn deserves a medal for the ultimate sacrifice and generous gift of life she gave.
Next, I requested to see Dan and Bonnie my new in-laws. I looked at them and said thank you for supporting us from beginning to end with this process. In addition, I told them that I love them, and I am honored to be a part of this great family. I also wanted them to know how much we appreciated their help with our home project and other things along the way and everything else that they do for the kids and other family members.
Jessica, arrived in my room and I told her how much I appreciated her for taking time off work and being here for her mother as her daughter and care giver. I told her how proud I am of her young accomplishments and how much I love her and her son Franklin. I told her how grateful I was for her mother’s gift, so we can spend time with our children and loved ones.
Now I was laying there all by myself staring up into the sunny Blue sky and all I could think about is how is my wife doing. I was tossing and turning in the bed not knowing her condition at the time. I usually talk to the animals (Cat – Sasha, Dog – Coco) at home but obviously they’re not present. Then I noticed a picture of Jesus hanging on the wall to the right of the shelf, so I began to thank and praise him for sacrificing his only life for us sinners of the world. I asked for my forgiveness of sins and then asked for a sign to let me know that my wife is safe.
The song “Everlasting God” appeared into my head and these were the words that kept repeating over and over, “You’re the Defender of The Weak, You Comfort Those in Need, You Lift Us Up on Wings like Eagles. Finally, I realized God was sending me a message and all I had to do was find it. With my bed reclined to about twenty degrees, I looked out the window and, in the view, I had that was small was a large Eagle that looked down to me and flew three times around in a counter-clockwise rotation and then flew away over the building. I looked at the clock and it was four o’clock in the afternoon and then I said thank you to Jesus. I felt so relieved knowing that my wife is alive and has survived the greatest gift to me and us she could ever give.
About twenty minutes later I heard my door open and suddenly God delivered my wife to me in person!
The end results, follow his footsteps and believe in him and the sword will protect you from harm.
I am tired and need to take a break to rest and hopefully there will be another post within a few days.
Blessed Easter to you all, “He has Risen, He has Risen Indeed!!
Jimmy and Dawn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP2nz6PG8KM Lincoln Brewster – Everlasting God