Most people reading this blog realize that it is a timeline for the writer about what happens in the daily life of the foundation. This is one of those posts.

Sometimes life throws a curve ball at you from an unexpected source and you are required to rethink your way of doing things. That happened this week. For the first time ever, one of our residents was unhappy with me for a variety of reasons. Several things, from her viewpoint, were wrong about the apartment to begin with…I would like to list them, but it would be too obvious. And the worst accusation was that “you must not have a heart.” I was not sympathetic or empathetic enough about her transplant situation for her comfort. That hurt! I do have a heart; a pretty big one that also happens to be a broken heart. In fact, the foundation was formed based on the hearts of this family. And to add to that, for me to get emotionally or any other way involved in the lives of the transplant families that live in our apartments (there have been 100 of them), would be impossible. Try as I might (and I do try when appropriate) I simply don’t have the time nor the energy to do that. Enough said about that.

However, I’m a person that tries to understand another viewpoint and if I can make something better or “fix it,” I will. So my take on this situation is as follows:

  1. We will update our website to address her concerns.
  2. We will have no more “same day” or “overnight” turnovers of residents. I will take the time to make sure that everything in the apartment is maintained. This could take time if it requires the apartment maintenance staff to do the fix…2-3 days at best.
  3. Apartment #8 will be the last apartment before Transplant House is up and running. I’ve reached my max.
  4. When #8 becomes available, I will hire a moving company to move what is in storage to the apartment. Everything else that remains will be removed by the “junk kids” who live across the street from us who have a junk removing business. The big storage unit will be closed. And then the storage garage at the apartment complex will be a place for replacement items for the 8 apartments.

That’s off my chest. I’ll happily move forward doing my job in the best way possible. I love what I do! And I will be incredibly grateful that this has happened with only 1% (literally) of the wonderful people that I have met along the way of this journey.

Transplant Family #…

On Sunday afternoon, January 10th, we will be welcoming our 100th transplant family to our apartments. In a short 3-1/2 years, we have literally exploded! Our patients have ranged in age from newborn to 74 years old. Their transplants have been hearts, lungs livers and kidneys. And just recently, we began accepting bone marrow and stem cell patients. It’s been an incredible ride, made possible by so many people. We are humbled by all of the support we have received. I only wish I could convey the gratefulness of our patients and caregivers for everything that family, friends and total strangers have contributed to accomplish our vision of providing patients a “bridge to life” while recovering from their organ transplant.

Our journey began from a tragic point in time, when we lost our Jeff due to the lack of transplant. But by God’s mercy, we have taken that tragedy and made something good from it. Jeff is looking down from his special place in heaven with his signature smile saying, “good job mom, dad and Brad and thanks to everyone that has played a part in this adventure!”

Christmas 2020

Christmas is a special time of year. There is no doubt about that. But when you are going through an organ transplant, Christmas can seem upside down, just like the snowman. You have to try and “buck up” and act like everything is normal. Well, NOTHING is normal when this is happening.

So we try and make things as normal as possible in the transplant apartments. We decorate them with a tree and other decorations and hope that it makes our patients and caregivers experience as normal a Christmas as possible. They are welcome to invite their family to visit. However, this year has been a bit different with COVID-19. Some doctors encourage their patients to keep to themselves. That’s one of the saddest parts of this hideous disease. What is even more sad is the fact that most caregivers are not even allowed in the hospital to visit their loved one. I can’t even imagine what that feels like.

So if you are a praying person, please add our transplant families to your list. You don’t know them and never will, but God does.