God bless you.
After more than three years, during which I underwent three surgeries, a
radiation treatment, had more than 90 doctors to visit, examine and treat me at five
different hospitals, the University of Chicago Medical Center has rejoined my heart
transplant team that it started in the first place.
This week, Dr. Valluvan Jeevanandam, UCMC's ace cardiac surgeon, and
Dr. Allen Anderson, UCMC cardiologist, have promised to add me to UCMC's heart
That means that for the present, I am now on the heart transplant lists for the
Mayo Clinic and UCMC. Now, it is up to me to decide which list I wants to stay on.
Yes, the Mayo Clinic is much more highly acclaimed for heart
transplantation, and yes, it was the Mayo that decided to put me on its heart
transplant list when nobody else I contacted would.
But my choice is UCMC for several reasons. They include the following:
1. I no longer will have to worry about the uncertain circumstances, like
weather and availability, of having an air ambulance to fly me from Chicago to
Rochester, Minn., within a four-hour time window when a heart becomes available.
2. I no longer will have to stay in Rochester, 365 miles from my home in
Hazel Crest, at least three and a half months after my heart transplant operation.
3. I no longer will have to worry about potentially devastating out-of-pocket
expenses of a private jet and the living expenses of staying in Rochester for an
4. If God wills me through a successful transplantation, I now can spend
most of my recovery time at home with my children and grandchildren and be more
easily accessible to other relatives and friends.
5. If the Lord chooses to take me, I will already be home in Chicago instead
of another distant city.
Thank you, Jesus! Hallelujah!
The Lord just keeps right on blessing me. I don't deserve the blessings of His
grace and mercy. Nevertheless, God just keeps right on blessing me.
It was on March 31, 2008, that the UCMC made plans to place me on its
heart transplant list. Their medications had done all they could. So, in accordance
to normal procedure, the UCMC started thoroughly examining me to make sure
it was not wasting a donor's heart on an unhealthy recipient.
Unfortunately, at least for that moment, doctors at the UCMC and
Northwestern discovered a cancerous tumor on my brain and cancer in my
prostate. Those revelations immediately disqualified me from UCMC's heart
transplant list. Thank God, the brain tumor was determined to be benign and
the prostate cancer was determined to be early-staged, localized and treatable.
I then started this blog, promising to give God the thanksgiving and
glory and to give you a running account of how He would be healing me. Many
of you started reading this blog and praying with me and for me and have
continued to do so. And as the bible said they would, the prayers of the righteous
availed much for me then and have been availing for me ever since.
On May 21, 2008, I underwent the radiation operation of being implanted
with more than 80 radiation seeds. And, again, that God, my prostate cancer went
into immediate progressive remission. But the UCMC had a very conservative
policy on prostate cancer. It required me to be cancer-free for at least five years
before they would put me on its list.
A little over a year later, I went to the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion. They
have a more up-to-date, liberal policy on prostate cancer because it is one of the
slowest growing cancers. So, after they sent me through their tests and
examinations, Mayo Clinic doctors placed me on its heart transplant list on
Nov. 15, 2009.
I continued to be examined and have the symptoms of my end-stage
congestive heart failure relieved by medications until I suffered an almost fatal
setback on Jan. 11, 2010, when some false bad news about me losing my job and
insurance shocked and stressed me into a cardio-genic shock, a form of heart
attack . That event resulted in me spending 30 days in a total of three hospitals--
South Suburban, Northwestern and UCMC--and being placed on life support for
two three-day stints. On Jan. 29, 2010 I was implanted with a heart pump, a
Heartmate LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) to save my life and sustain me
until I can get a new heart.
Now, God has returned the UCMC to where it first started by preparing me to
be placed on its heart transplant list.
Yes, there, again, are serious risks. I will be sawed open for the third time
in my life. So many things can go wrong during and after the operation The
surgeons can do a great job and then nurses may fail to provide me proper
post-operative care. I will also have to take immuno-suppressants for the rest of my
life. Those medications decrease my immune system so that my body won't reject
the new heart.
Nevertheless, my hope is in Jesus and in God's grace and mercy. If there is
to be any healing and any successful surgery and post-operative care, it will come
from God through the instruments of doctors, nurses and medications. So it's
prayer time for me perhaps more than ever. Yes, it's me, it's me oh Lord, standing in
the need of prayer. Won't you please continue to pray for e and with me and I will
do the same for you.
God bless you.