Sunday, October 23, 2011


10/22/11 Acceptance It has been so long since I have been on here, I think about it often and even already had something written, but it was somewhat “controversial” so I did not want to start off with that post after having such a long break. I wrote my last post while I was in the hospital, in severe rejection, half of my time was spent in ICU, but I will save that for later. Today I went to a class for CTDN to learn the new standards for classroom presentations. As we are going over everything, there was a man about my parent’s age that kept staring at me; I thought the clock might be behind me so I just kind of went with it. After the presentation we went around the class of about seven attendees and introduced ourselves. I just said that I had a heart transplant and that next month I will be two years out. When we got to the man that had been looking my way, he said that his son had been a donor, his son, Tom Futak and the reason he had been staring at me was his son’s heart was donated to a young man, whom they met. Well, I actually knew Tom and before I really thought about what I said, I told his father I knew him. Tom was a counselor in the Jr. High School group at my church when he passed away (when I was in Jr. High). I still remember the night (which just so happened to be the night of youth group) that they told us about the accident and Tom’s passing. Before I had or ever knew I needed a transplant, my family and I had always been registered to be donors, we had just felt like that was just the right thing to do. And before transplant, whenever someone died, it never even crossed my mind if they were a donor or not, now it does. So when I ran into Tom’s parent’s and heard that Tom was a donor, it was kind of weird, very good, but something I had never thought about or processed. I have not met my donor family, and even though I have met MANY donor families, I have never really met a donor family that I have had a tie to. My donor family has wanted to meet since the very first letter I wrote a year and a half ago and I just got the go about 3 weeks ago from the Donor Network that it was okay to meet, but I have been very nervous to meet and have just been putting it off. Hearing all about the Futak’s story has put more a face on the donor’s family. Part of why have been able to put off meeting my donors family is by not “putting a face” on them or making an emotional attachment. Some of this has chipped away through the letters were have exchanged and I learned he had two daughters. I chipped off a lot more of this today with the Futak’s hearing their story, what their life had been like since, etc. Tom, the donors father (also named Tom) showed me a picture of the heart recipient, his wife, and children, and it really made a connection. One of the things they had said to me was even though Tom was not here physically, he has left an amazing legacy. The man who got his heart (only 6 months after being married) not only did he not die, but he has had two children (and ran marathons) in the ten years since he has been transplanted. I think a big thing for the donor families is that their loved ones are leaving a legacy; they are a part of someone’s lives. Even though their loved one might not have gotten to have children, they helped with someone else being able to have them. This may be TMI for many people, so sorry! But, right when I got on the list for transplant I wanted to ask about my eggs being harvested because I was worried about all the bad things the drugs I would be taking for the transplant could do to a fetus. Since I was only listed for 19 days, there was not even enough time to ask my doctor about this. After transplant, I heard so many bad things about women having babies after transplant, I said I would NEVER have children, I would adopt. After today, and hearing about how this young person still had a legacy, like helping make a family, it has made me at least rethink the possibility. I really think that God puts us in places for a reason. I almost did not attend the class today; the Futak’s almost did the same. But God put us both there because we needed to meet and “learn” from each other’s situations. I also remember that when Tom passed, his parents were not Christians, and through the experience of Tom’s death, they are, which was so good to hear.


  1. Very eloquent and inspirational :) I also was thinking about not having kids due to all the medications and stress on the body. Now I'm thinking I may just harvest my eggs, if possible, to still have the option of having biological children. Something to think about! Best of luck in the meantime, I hope life is treating you well!!

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  3. Such a great post,it is great that things are going well for you. I have just passed my first year with new lungs it has taken me a long time to reach the acceptance that you talk about.Only in the last couple of months have I felt that I am ready to send a letter to my donors family because I am scared of what I will find out about him if they reply.I hope that your meeting with your donor family goes well.My donor has allowed me my second wedding anniversary with my wife today, something we thought we would never be able to celebrate:)