Chicago Sun-Times
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Thank You Jesus! New 1B Status Moves Me Closer To New Heart.

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God bless you.

After spending a week being re-examined by doctors at the Mayo Clinic in

Rochester, Minn., I have been reclassified from Status 7 to Status 1B on the

national heart transplant list.

Thank you, Jesus!!!

Jody Hanson, highly celebrated veteran nurse and Mayo's heart transplant

coordinator, called me with the good news on Monday, June 14. She did so after

she had gotten the decision reached by the clinic's academy of cardiologists,

cardiac surgeons and other physicians and specialists who make these decisions

after reviewing the patient's latest medical information.

The highest rating is Status 1A. These congestive heart failure patients get

the first crack at a new heart because they are in serious condition, have suffered

a fresh heart attack, or they are already in-patients in one of Mayo's local hospitals.

The second rating is Status 1B--mine. This is for patients who are in dire

need of a heart transplant but are not in critical condition because medicines,

like Dobutamine, a so-called amphetamine for the heart, or a heart pump has

stabilized their health.

Mayo first placed me on the national heart transplant list on Nov. 5, 2009.

After being placed on the heart transplant list, I was hoping that my next major

surgery would be the heart transplant. I had already been through a triple bypass

on Feb. 14, 2001, another major surgery three months later to correct the failure

to stabilize my sternum on Feb. 14, a stenting of my main left artery in November of

2005, another stenting in May of 2006, a brachetherapy on May 21, 2008, when

radiation seeds were injected into my prostate to fight prostate cancer and a back

surgery on Aug. 10, 2009.

While preparing to return to the Mayo in January to be admitted to the

hospital in preparation for a 1A status, I suffered a life-threatening cardio-genic

shock on Jan. 11 while desperately trying to confirm a phone call from Blue Cross

Blue Shield telling me that they had been informed that my 38-year employment

with the Sun-Times and my heart insurance had both been terminated.

Is there any worse news a heart transplant candidate can receive?

The Jan. 11 setback resulted in a 30-day hospital stay where I was on life

support twice and had to have open-heart surgery on Jan. 29 at the University of

Chicago Medical Center, where world-renown cardiac surgeon, Dr. Valluvan

Jeevanandam, implanted the heart pump that probably saved my life and since

has been sustaining me until I get a new heart.

Baring a new setback or other changes, my next operation will be a heart

transplantation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. That could happen today,

tomorrow, next week, next month or later this year or next year, whenever a

heart is made available for a patient like me with B positive blood.

As some of you already know, and for you who don't, "O" blood (negative or

positive) is the most common blood type. "A", positive or negative, is the second

most common blood type. Then, "B", positive or negative, is the third most common.

"So your chances of getting a new heart are better than most because of

your blood type," Hanson said.

Status 1B means that I must now be prepared to be on the operating table

in four hours once I have been informed that a new heart is available for me.

Because Chicago is 365 miles from Rochester, I would have to be transported

by air ambulance to the Mayo to comply with the four-hour time window.

Another bit of good news during my extensive tests at the Mayo is the fact

that my PSA, which was 5.7 when my prostate cancer was diagnosed on April 10,

2008, is now at .36, its lowest since my dire diagnosis. This means my prostate

cancer remains in aggressive regression.

Oh what a mighty God we serve!

Now, by the grace and mercy of God, I am one step away from my new heart.

I was hoping to have that new heart by now since my wife of 42 years, Joyce, is

retiring next month and we want to have at least one more grand vacation before

the sun sets on our lives.

My father-in-law, Roscoe Wooten, worked hard at two jobs supporting his

family before retiring at age 64 . Then he died a few months later from lung


My father, the late Rev. A.D. Banks, never saw any retirement before he

died of a stroke also at age 64.

My dear mother, Sarah Lorraine Banks, died of blooding poisoning at age

42 after the 13th baby she was bearing died in her womb and she, for several

reasons influenced by racism in Mississippi, where we lived at the time, could not

receive appropriate medical care in time.

I've obviously been through a lot. My body has been on bloody battlefield for a

phethora of sicknesses and surgeries.

But God has brought me through.

God remains my refuge and strength, a very present help in my times of


God remains my primary care physician.

God's amazing grace remains sufficient for me. His mercy remains

everlasting and His truth still endures to all generations.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name.

God bless you.

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First the Stanley Cup and now this?? Must be your Championship Season!

Well, it's great news, moving up on the list, and I have no doubt that you'll soon have a new heart to take on vacation with you. And, of course, you PSA score is even more impressive than the one Kane made.

I don't know that Mayor Daley will give an okay for another rally on Michigan Avenue, but he, like the rest of the city, will undoubtedly be cheering you on just the same.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks, John, for your persistent kind words of encouragement. You deserve a cheer, too, for supporting the Blackhawks' successful Stanley Cup bid.

Greetings Rev. Banks,

It's so good to hear your good news! Keep leaning on his everlasting arms. I will continue to pray for you and praise God for His graciousness in all our lives.

D. Drew

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, D. Drew. Leaning on God's everlasting arm is exactly what I am doing. It's great to do that. And what a fellowship, what a joy divine leaning on the everlasting arm. What a blessedness, what a peace is mine leaning on the everlasting arm. Oh how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way leaning on the everlasting arm. Oh how bright the path grows from day to day leaning on the everlasting arm. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarm. Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arm. Now, am I right about it?

God bless you, Lacy J. Banks, you are a burning fire. God bless the Mayo Clinic and thank you Jesus for your love. Praying for you Mr. Banks.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, Connie, because prayers of the righteous availeth much. I was young and now I am growing old. But between my womb and my future tomb, I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

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Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on June 15, 2010 1:54 PM.

Blackhawk Success Is Part Of My Medicine was the previous entry in this blog.

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