We received a request on Wednesday, the 8th, from a social worker at Emory asking if the apartment was ready. I told them “yes” and asked them to go through the Georgia Transplant Foundation to get started. On the 9th we got an email from the social worker with GTF’s approval.
Mary immediately called the care giver and she wanted to move in as soon as possible. They had been offered a room at a Red Roof Inn, which they said was horrible. They actually preferred to stay in the waiting room of the hospital.
Bob and Mary went down to the apartment to meet the caregivers (mom and grandma) to a 34-year-old single (no children) woman. It was a VERY emotional meeting. The mom is distraught to the max and grandma is trying to be the strong one. The daughter (patient) is a double lung transplant who has lived with cystic fibrosis all her life. Her transplant was last Friday. The transplant is going fine, but she has developed a complication (I have no idea what it is called). It severely affects her circulation and her hands and feet are turning black. The mom told us that the doctors are considering amputation. Can you imagine? AND apparently this is a 1:100,000 possibility and the doctors at Emory have never seen it in a transplant patient.
You can only imagine the conversation. Mom could not hold back the tears. To say they are grateful for a place to live would be a major understatement. The mom cried in every room and grandma just thanked us over and over and over again.
As we were getting ready to leave, the mom received a phone call that she should return to the hospital in 30 minutes to meet with the surgeon. So we told them to just go and we would close up. So off they went and before we could turn around, they came back in the door for hugs. Very touching.
This was a hard one, to say the least. Bob and Mary both commented on the way home how our hearts were so broken. I don’t think either of us have considered that what we are doing could be so emotionally hard But it is what it is, and the families we are serving are way more important to us than our feelings. Our personal transplant journey is over; theirs is just beginning. Our prayers are with them.
One last comment…what we are doing is everything right. Both apartments have had families move in on the day they were opened. There is an enormous need for what we are doing. And we have just begun. Exciting (and probably emotional) times are ahead.
We just received an update from the social worker. She said when the mom was talking to Mary about meeting to get the keys to the apartment, it was the first time the social worker had seen the mom smile since she entered the hospital. That is what make what we are doing so incredibly rewarding.