God bless you.
I made what could have been a fatal mistake Sunday. I went to cover a
Chicago Wolves hockey playoff game and forgot to carry a spare pair of
batteries that power the heart pump that is keeping me alive until I get a heart
Everything would have been alright if I had remembered or if my wife Joyce would
have reminded me to change into a fresh pair of batteries when I left home. Or if I had
packed a spare pair. Or if the game had ended in regulation. Or if the game had ended in
the first overtime.
But once the game was extended an extra 70-something minutes by going
into second overtime, something told me to check my batteries because I already
had been using them for 10 hours and they normally are supposed to last me
Understand, now, that once my pump stops being powered by batteries
or by AC current, I'm a dead man within minutes because my heart will cease to
pump blood. The implantation of the pump retired my heart from having a
heartbeat because my blood circulation became powered by the D-size-battery
pump attached to my heart.
Normally, I pack a spare pair when I got out of the house for a
newspaper or preaching assignment because I never know how long I would
be out. I could get in a car accident or a traffic jam resulting from somebody else
having an accident. That way, I'm in good shape for at least 24 hours.
But Sunday, stupid me just left home wearing a pair of batteries that already
had been on me for just over five hours. I should have changed into a fresh pair
or packed a spare pair. I did neither.
On the sides of my batteries is a five-dot meter that tells me how much
charge is left in the battery. Five is 80 to 100 percent. Four is 60-80 percent. Three
means 40 to 60 percent. I change batteries one he meter ready two dots. But what
put me in trouble Sunday was that I live an hour's drive from Allstate Arena,
where the game was being played. Plus, it takes from 30 to 40 minutes for me to do
my post-game interviews, write and file my story.
Once I saw my meter flashed three dots, I did not know how close that was
to two dots and the game wasn't even over yet. It ended just before I left the press
room to rush home to change batteries. Thank goodness, this was an afternoon
game because that gave me extra time to file. With the help of Wolves publicist
Elizabeth Casey and coach Don Lever and a couple of players, I was able to get
the necessary phone interviews once I arrived home at 7:30 p.m.
Tracy Valeroso, the right-hand nurse of Dr. Valluvan Jeevanandam,
world-famous cardiac surgeon a the University of Chicago Medical Center, had
already given me an exrta pair of exactly for these potential emergencies.
What if there had been one of those 18-wheeler jack-knife accident that blocked
all lanes and tied of traffic for miles and hours? What if I had been stranded in
something that and my batteries ran out? Well, you would be reading this or
any other blog entry from me anymore.
This pump has changed my life immensely after its implantation saved
my life. It is now a part of my body. It is my lifeline. It is more than just my little
friend. It presently is imperative for my survival.
So keep praying for me. Pray that I not only get a new heart, but that I not
forget always have at least one backup pair of batteries whenever I leave for
God bless you.