I have always looked up to my brother. We are very close in age; I was one grade below him in school. He has always been there for me, no matter what! Through our younger years he had quite a few very serious accidents, I always admired his courage and strength to push forward no matter how tuff his recoveries were. He was my hero. I always have known in my heart and expressed to him “God is not ready for you yet, he has something very important for you to do yet.” And now I know. I never imagined in my wildest dreams he would ever need a new heart. He has worked tirelessly since his transplant to make sure everyone who helped in giving him this second chance at life knows how grateful he is and always will be.
When I received the news from my sister-in-law Julie in early 2017 telling me he had a massive heart attack, what is commonly referred to as a “widow maker” while walking up one of the steep hills in San Francisco. She was unsure what the outcome would be, but he is still alive. It was like sitting on pins and needles waiting to know what was happening.
As time went on, he became weaker and weaker, but he never let on how serious his condition was becoming. He still managed to climb a flight of stairs every day to his home. He was not about to give in! That is my big brother, my inspiration to want to be better, to not quit when things get difficult, to keep moving forward. Christmas 2018 he mustered up enough energy to come to our big family Christmas party. I remember he was so weak and frail, he could barely breathe, it was so hard to see him like that. Little did any of us know the greatest gift was coming in the very near future.
January 10, 2019, just a couple weeks after Christmas I got the word from Julie there was a heart waiting for him at Stanford Hospital. I just began to cry grateful tears and pray they would make it to Stanford Hospital in that very short window of time, and that God would see him through this transplant. There were many setbacks to come, and of course a very long and difficult recovery for him to go through, but as always, he managed to find the strength to pull through and to work hard to get stronger every day.
Thank you to God who answered our prayers, and to all of the doctors, nurses and staff that spent months helping my big brother to recover with his new heart. Most of all thank you to the donor’s family who gave him a second chance at life and with my gratitude for this gift they have given I also send my deepest sympathies for your loss. My brother will not waste one precious minute with this second chance you have given him
Lastly, I send my most sincere thanks to Julie my sister-in-law for her devotion to my brother at his side every minute, making sure she understood everything the doctors and nurses were telling her about his condition, medications and what she will need to do for many months to come. Though she was physically and emotionally exhausted she still managed to call with updates on his condition, and what was going on every day. Julie, I will never be able to thank you enough for all you have done and continue to do for my brother who I adore. I am forever grateful.
Diane aka ‘Small Fry’