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Our Brother

Posted on December 26 2014

This story begins on January 12, 2012. I received a phone call from my youngest brother that our middle brother (who was 48 years old), had a heart attack and was being transferred to a major medical center. Our brother had suffered a heart attack 13 years prior which resulted in a 5 vessel bypass with a pacemaker and defibrillator.
Due to his prior heart condition, this heart attack was severe and our brother was put on a balloon pump, and ultimately a ventricular assist device and ECMO. Our brother decided to not have a portable assist device placed and was put on the heart transplant list, and was in the hospital until March of 2015. I live 4 hours away from the hospital and was able to be there for our brother Wednesday evenings through Sunday mornings each week. Our eldest brother lives in Georgia and he was able to visit a few times during that time frame. Our youngest brother lives 45 minutes from the hospital and spent as much time as he could during those days.
As the days and weeks ticked away so did the physical appearance of our brother. He was loosing weight but not loosing his faith that a heart would come available for him.
On March 6,2012, our brother called us from his hospital bed to tell us that there was a match and that a heart was available for him. I will never forget that phone call, a mixed bag of emotions came over me. I drove the 4 hour drive I had done every week for 8 weeks. This time the drive took on a very different meaning. I work in a hospital and have taken many a patient to the OR for organ procurment, this time I was on the other end of this process. The feeling overwhelmed me. All went well with the surgery but the next few weeks were very rocky. Although our brothers new heart was strong, his body was weak and many bumps came his way.
On March 18, 2012 our brother from Georgia was in town and told me to stay home this week and take care of my family. Although I didn't want to do that, he assured me that he would call me if I needed to be there. I kissed my brothers and was on my way back on the roads I had become so familiar with.
March 24th, I received a phone call from my youngest brother that things had taken a turn for the worse and I should come as soon as I could. My mind was spinning and this time the ride to the hospital was filled with prayers to my parents to have him hold on until I got there. As
I raced my way to his bedside, the sight of him shocked me. He was in mulit system organ failure and come to find out, he was suffering from a fungal infection from one of the lines that were keeping him alive. Each of his loved ones surrounded his bedside and we said our goodbyes. It was one of the worst moments in our lives. A man of such faith and hope was slipping away from us.
Through all the sadness we suffered from the loss of our brother, organ donation gave us the few weeks we wouldn't of had with him if an organ had not come available. We are all organ donors in our family and have such respect and admoration for all the families who chose to have their loved ones organs donated to others.

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