Craziness    It’s been a whirlwind of a week around here!

On Tuesday, Bob and I rented Apartment #3.  It’s closer to Piedmont.  It is in Post Peachtree Hills Apartment Homes.  It’s another 2-bed, 2-bath, roommate plan on the first floor.  The move-in is scheduled for Monday.  We also stopped by Apartment #1 to deliver the cashmere socks and the Bible (the patient said he would treasure it) and he put the socks on his feet!  We tried to visit the people in Apartment #2, but we couldn’t get a hold of them.
On Wednesday, Mary got a call back from the caregiver in Apartment #2.  The patient is still in the hospital (he’s a heart transplant patient) and the care giver was there with him.  I still had cashmere socks and a Bible for them.  I agreed to meet the care giver at the hospital front door because she told me about her husband complaining about cold feet.   I had to get that fixed because it’s so relatible!  She was so appreciative for the Bible…she said she needed a foundation to lean on.
On Thursday, our liver patient in Apartment #1 was released by his doctor and he and his wife left the apartment to go home to Albany.
I put out an email to all the social workers in the three hospitals that Apartment #1 would be available on Saturday.  That was to give me and Bob time to get down there to clean the place.
Around 3:00 p.m., I got a call from a social worker at CHOA  that he had a family that would benefit from living in one of our apartments for 2 weeks.  I, of course, said “yes.”  Well they wanted to move in on Friday!
So Thursday evening, I picked Bob up from work at 5:15 (the worst possible time to start driving south on 400).  It took us 1-1/2 hours to get there.  We cleaned until around 10:00 and headed home.
On Friday I met the mom (main caregiver) at 2:00 p.m. to turn over the keys.
The family story:  They are from Albany.  Ben is a 7-year-old boy that needs a heart transplant (can you imagine?)  He is not yet on the transplant list.  He has been in the hospital for three weeks in a effort to get his “numbers” to the right place.  (I never know how to explain numbers, but they always seem to be the most important part of getting listed).  So for two weeks, Ben has to get infusions (can’t explain that either!).  So his entire family will be living in the apartment, which includes:  mom, dad, grandma, Ben, 11-year old brother and 14-year old sister.  Seems a little crowded, but all they care about is being together.  As I was giving mom a tour of the apartment, the rest of the family was in the car, driving to Atlanta.  We got a call in the evening that everyone was “home” and all was well.
Two things about this one:  1)  we are keeping a family together and 2) this is our first child patient.  In my mind, two very BIG things to add to our story.
Now humor me to hear the WORST part of all of this….setting up utilities and renter’s insurance.  I swear it took me hours and many phone calls.  YIKES!  I was tearing my hair out.  I’m still waiting to get my “welcome letter” from Infinite Energy.
This week, we drove 4 round trips (100 miles each) to take care of all of this.  Last night I was beat, probably very crabby, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.


Four Seasons Front  On Tuesday, May 6, Mary was invited to attend a Tea at the Four Season in Atlanta by Logan Vaughn, a Financial Planner with Edward Jones.  I met Logan at a senior networking event a couple of months ago and she took an interest in our foundation.  Her goal was for me to meet people from her financial world that would take an interest in what we are doing.  She had invited a select group of 12 women and I was privileged to be one of them!  As you can imagine, it was a treat to be sitting at the Four Seasons, late morning on a Tuesday, sipping tea and munching on…..  Four Seasons Tea    NO KIDDING!  I heard a presentation on financial planning that was extremely interesting.  But more importantly, I was able to meet all of these new people and share our foundation’s story.  THANK YOU, LOGAN!

Thought that continuously bothers Mary

pexels-photo-613321.jpeg  As our foundation continues to grow and as we continue trying to get our message out there, it has occurred to everyone on our board of directors, and especially to Mary, that we are in a very exclusive niche within the non-profit sector.  Being “exclusive” sounds great in some ways, but the truth of the matter is, we need to find something that will tug on the heart strings of people.

The old saying,”if you knew what I knew” applies here.  Because we entered into the world of transplants in a very, very personal way, and because our experience ended in the worse possible way with the loss of Jeff, we truly have a heart for the people getting transplants, and even more we have a heart for the care givers.  Mary’s passion lies with the care givers because she has walked in their shoes.

SO….in the middle of the night, as is almost always the case, an idea came to Mary.  She got up and began working on it immediately.  Who needs sleep, right??!!

I want to do a video that expresses what the care givers’ thoughts are; the things that go through their minds as they live through the transplant experience.  The patient is being taken care of by a team of doctors, social workers, nurses, and every other medical category you can think of.  The care giver is mostly ALONE.  So I contacted a guy that went to high school with Brad who is in the video-making business.  We are going to meet for coffee next week to discuss my ideas.  I can’t wait to hear what Billy Hong has to say about what is rolling around in my head.

Stay tuned!


Apartment #1 – Family #2

Apt living room  Our very first patient, Will, was officially released from Emory on January 23rd and headed home to his family near Savannah.  Will lived in Apartment #1 for almost 7 months!  We are so happy that he has recovered to this point and our prayer is for a long, healthly life for him.

On January 29th, we got a call from Piedmont that they had a liver transplant patient and his care giver that needed a place to live.  Mary drove down to the apartment on that very day to turn over the keys to the care giver, Laura.  She was so appreciative because, as she said, she had been worrying about where they would live because of financial issues (this is ALWAYS the problem for our residents).  When Mary was talking to her, she said this….”I have a 7-month-old grandbaby and now he can visit!”  As a grandma, Mary understood that comment.  The Evans family believes that, as much as the apartments give peace, comfort and financial easing, they also keep the family together.  NOTHING makes us happier.  The patient, Bill, should be released from the hospital to the apartment in a couple of days to begin his healing journey.  Welcome to Laura and Bill!