Thursday night I couldn’t sleep and spent much of the time fretting and worrying and praying. And writing stuff. And swearing.
On Friday morning I awoke to my phone ringing at 8:13am. “Private Number”. I was frightened that something bad had happened with Marc. But no, it was the best phone call ever.
Nancy, one of the Transplant Coordinators at University Hospital in London, was calling to say that they had a liver for Marc. She had told me earlier in the week that it could happen SOON, but this was amazing!
As soon as I got off the phone with Nancy, Marc called to ask if I had received a call… Nancy had called the hospital first, then me… Marc was scheduled to be transported from St. Mary’s hospital at noon to London’s University Hospital. It was happening!
There were so many people to call.. .I had to pack a bag and buy dog food and text people and phone people and take a shower and ….. I can’t even remember …. I was jubilant and excited and terrified all at the same time. Yet I was strangely calm. Just so many emotions.
When I got to St. Mary’s, there was a transport vehicle out front and I asked if they were going to London… yes they were… and I said “you’re taking my husband!”
I pretty much ran through the hospital and up to Marc’s room. He had already packed his bag and was in the washroom getting ready. The transport team arrived with a stretcher right behind me. Marc came and got onto the stretcher and I grabbed all his stuff and we headed out the door. It probably took me longer to write these sentences….. in such a hurry that we forgot his electric razor and his shoes…
Marc was loaded into the transport vehicle and I hopped in the car to follow….. and I promptly lost them. I hadn’t thought to ask which way they were going so I just got on Homer Watson and headed for the 401. I actually beat the ambulance there… and I had stopped for gas and had to find parking!
I checked Marc in and signed things while he was taken up to the 8th floor. Once I was done I went to join him and they had him in a ward room…. a Doctor came to explain all the horrible things that could possibly happen that could result in death. Marc signed the paper saying that if he DIDN’T sign it (authorizing the surgery) for SURE he was going to die so it was really a no brainer. And then no one had informed the nurses of his MRSA… so I did and they moved him to a private room. Sometimes it’s good to have a communicable condition!
Then we waited. I couldn’t let TOO many people know (no Facebook posts etc.) because there is always a chance that they get the liver and it’s damaged or not good in some way.
We were told the operation would likely happen about 11pm. We hunkered down in the room and Marc had some bloodwork done and … we waited. Hurry up and wait for sure…
As excited and hopeful as we felt, there has always been a certain amount of terror involved in all of this…. but I felt strangely calm. I just KNEW that the liver would be good and would be workable. I just KNEW.
Marc encouraged me to go check into the hotel to get settled… I could come back closer to the operation time. I headed to hotel (which the amazing Rachel Hammell booked for me using her points.. <3) and checked in… unpacked… then decided to grab a quick shower… and then my phone rang.
“It’s happening NOW” Marc said.
But it wasn’t supposed to happen until 11pm! It’s only 8! I can be there in 10 minutes! No. There was no waiting. IT WAS HAPPENING.
I quickly got dressed and drove as quickly as I could to the hospital – obeying all laws and speeds and being very safe. … Last thing we needed was for me to be in the hospital, too… plus, he wasn’t going anywhere.
Once I got there, I called into ICU to ask if he was case #4411. They have a computer screen set up in the waiting area so you can see the statuses. And yes, that was him in the operating room. As well, he had some things with him that I was going to take with me when he was wheeled in… his phone, his SENS hat (the most important).. a sweater, blah blah blah. They had no idea where any of it was and thought maybe it was in the operating room. Odd, but whatever.
I was told it would be 8 hours or so for the operation. I could stay in the waiting room or go back to the hotel. I went back to the hotel to try to sleep.
Interestingly enough, I slept quite well. I knew my Marc Thomas was in the best place possible and I KNEW he would be okay.
I woke up at 4:13am. His operation was scheduled to end at around 4am… so I called the hospital. GREAT news.. his surgery ended at 2am. All was well. Things looked very good. A successful event. The nurse who I spoke with (Sharon) and she said that he’d be intubated and sedated for some time so if I came to the hospital it would be fruitless.. better to sleep….
I woke up early the next day (Saturday April 29th) and started to get ready to go to the hospital. My sisters, Barb and Lara decided that they would come to keep me company. We got to the hospital around the same time and made our way to ICU.
When I got to ICU the staff told me that they were worried so they were going to back into surgery. I talked to Marc while he was intubated and sedated. He was trying to use sign language (pointing and stuff not actual sign language) and was telling me that he loved me. I know, my Marc Thomas.
My sisters and I went out for lunch to Chipotle. My sister Lara is vegan/vegetarian so even though they said I should pick we went there. I didn’t really care at that point. I received a burrito the size of a small baby, ate what I could and took the rest with me. We actually had fun despite what was going on with Marc.
When we returned, Marc was out of surgery. Again. He was doing well. By the time I returned they were removing his breathing tube. Long story short, he was doing well . Marc was alert enough to watch the hockey game at 3pm.
Still a long road ahead but it seems progress it is being made.
However, even though the transplant is done…there are a lot of expenses. Hotels. Gas. If you can help, awesome. Prayers are good too.. Do what you can. We appreciate it all. Very, very much.
p.s. Changed the blog to www.marcsnewliver.com as I will continue to tell our stories. 🙂