Jesus In Daddy’s Heart

Daddy in his last hour in the Cardiac ICU - less than 48 hours after his heart transplant

Daddy continues to do well thus far since his heart transplant surgery Sunday night. It’s hard to believe his surgery was only 5 nights ago because he has made such tremendous progress! According to several doctors and nurses, he has set new records in recovery from such a procedure. A physical therapist has worked with him and he has successfully been able to get out of bed, which is difficult with a broken breastbone. He’s also walked the halls daily since Wednesday and has  climbed some steps. With his new strong and healthy heart,  he has quite a bit of muscle- building ahead. His muscles have atrophied quite a bit over the past few years as his heart has grown weaker. It is now time to slowly build back strength. He jokes that taking steroids is going to make him look like a body builder in no time. However, so far the steroids, while certainly helping his body accept the new heart, have only added fluid (not muscle)  bulk! In addition to beginning some gentle exercise, Daddy must also be diligent in drinking water so that his kidneys can heal. The poor blood flow of his sick heart damaged his kidneys but all the doctors are hopeful that now that he has a strong heart, any lost kidney function will be restored. In just four short days we’ve already seen improvement! We are so very thankful he is recovering so well thus far.

This week, Daddy’s days have been busy resting, visiting with friends and family and attending appointments with various specialists who are educating him on life post-transplant. Several medications he has been on for years are now history! However, several other new medications will be a part of his daily regimen for the rest of his life. While the biggest rejection risks are during the first few months, he must permanently stay on anti-rejection medications. Right now, he is very immune- suppressed which means he must diligently avoid germs. Once he’s released from the hospital, he’ll need to wear a face mask when he is in public. Food bars are prohibited. Because he’s coming back to my house and we have six children, we must keep things as sterile as possible. (Pray for our health, please!) Daddy is eager to learn how to take care of his new heart and implement exercise into his daily routine. Of course, right now, while recovering from surgery, he must rest. However, he looks forward to building back his strength.

This Monday, Daddy will have his first rejection test which is a biopsy that shows exactly how well his body is adjusting to the new heart. If all goes well, he will be released from the hospital. If his body shows any signs of rejection, he will stay as his medications are adjusted. Once he is back in Boone, he will have weekly appointments for a month. After a month, his biopsies will be every other week for two months. He will need to stay close to CMC (Carolina’s Medical Center) at least one more month and possibly up to three more months. Once he is out of the immediate rejection danger, he will be able to return to south Georgia. We are so very thankful that his recovery is underway!

One of Sarah’s friends asked her mom, “Will Mr. Scott have to ask Jesus into his new heart too?” I’ve reflected on this  innocent question asked by this sweet child. Before Daddy’s surgery, many prayers were lifted up that his donor would come to know Jesus if he didn’t already. For months we’ve prayed this. We know the donor didn’t die for Daddy. However, through his death, life has been extended. A gift has been given that can’t be bought.  So many times this week, as I’ve thought about the gift of Daddy’s new heart, I’ve thought about my Savior. He did die for me. He gave me life. He experienced pain. When I accepted the precious gift of salvation years ago, I received a heart transplant! How sad it would have been to have turned my new heart away. Sin leads to death. Jesus transforms us all. He changes our hearts. Then the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside us. We “exercise” our new hearts as we practice the fruits of the Holy Spirit living in us. The more we “exercise,” the stronger we become. Amazing! How I love the questions asked by a child – simple and yet so profound!

“Yes! Jesus does live in this heart too!”

Thank you, Lord, for Daddy’s new heart – his physical one. What a miracle! Thank you also for new spiritual hearts for all who accept your gift of salvation. When you reside in us, you change us indeed!


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20 Responses to “Jesus In Daddy’s Heart”

  1. Debbie Odum Ragsdale Says:

    Thank you for the update! The part about a child asking if he would have to ask Jesus to come into his new heart was just precious!

    We continue to pray for his strength and healing. God is so good.
    Debbie

  2. Linda Marsh Says:

    Thanks for the update, Tina. I’m so happy he’s doing so well.

  3. Jamie Crisp Says:

    We are so blessed by Byron’s great success. Please know that all of Patterson United Methodist Church is praying for his full recovery and the wellness ofyour family while he recuperates.

  4. Boo Jobe Says:

    Such a blessing!

  5. Evelyn Hubbard Says:

    Your Dad must still have people to serve. God answers this type of prayer to further His Kingdom. I know your Dad will have alot to do when he regains his strength. But it has been neat to watch him minister through Face Book.

  6. Pat York Says:

    this is wonderful news. will still pray for all. Bless that little child.

  7. Pam Carswell Says:

    Thank you so much for the updates on your dad. Please give him our love and tell him and Trish we are praying for him and all of you. And the story about the child’s question…just amazing and precious. Had to wipe the tears from my eyes before I could type this response. What an awesome God we serve, one who gave the ultimate in order that we might have life. I’m thanking God for His gift and the gift He has given your dad. May He put his healing hands on your dad’s heart, making it strong so your dad can get back out there and go about His father’s business.

  8. Gordon and Betty Spencer Says:

    Thqnk you wo much for the update Tina….Sarah’s friend is indeed right….He has Jesus in his heart and I might add in his mind…..The Lord must have much for him to do. I just hope he takes the time to heal properly before attempting all of that.We do pray for you and your family Tina and know that God will watch out for all of you too….Love and prayers…

  9. AngelaW Says:

    Tina, I love your writings. They are so encouraging and informative. We are praying for you all too. Keeping the house germ free was one of the things I thought would be hardest, but once I was able to implement a good schedule and get everyone to pitch in, it became manageable. We’re so glad your Dad is doing well.

  10. Rita Pack Says:

    We appreciate so much your updates on Byron – he and Trish are such a joy to know and love, but in this update your summation was such an introspective and joyous tribute to God’s amazing love! (P.S. – Tell Byron he will look cute in his mask!)

  11. Paul & Linda Johnson Says:

    Tina,
    Ken is our pastor here in Hahira, and they are also our next door neighbors. Thanks for the updates on your dad. We are rejoicing with you for his complete recovery!

  12. Joyce Stephens Says:

    Tina- Thank you for the update on your Dad. He is indeed a miracle from God.I pray for you all and I think that you could follow in his footsteps as a wonderful preacher. You are an inspiration to us with your uplifting message.

  13. Kathy Getman Says:

    Tina,

    Thanks so much for your blog…It’s so fantastic that your Dad is doing so well! Ken is my pastor as well at HUMC and we love him as well as Amy and the kids….Linda and Paul (above) are some of my great friends too. Please know that all of you are in my prayers and it sounds like your Dad is well on his way with his speedy recovery! Praise the Lord!

  14. Shane Lovvorn Says:

    Tina tell Byron that I said he already looks like a new man in this picture. We continue to pray and look forward to him coming back to South Ga soon. Thanks for the update!!

  15. gail moore Says:

    Wow! There are no words that adequately express my joy for Byron, Patricia and the family. I am proud for Byron and so thankful that God is continuing to bless him. I will be praying for him. Such wonderful news!!!!

  16. Faren and Dennis Creww Says:

    Sooooooo thrilled for the successful transplant!!…We serve a wonderful God!!…blessings to all..Dennis just had successful back surgery in Columbus Ga. last week..we are home recovering..God is good!!..F&D

  17. Libby Dowell Says:

    Thanks for the update…..let us know how things go on Monday 🙂

  18. Karen Page Says:

    Tina, thanks for the update. The question and answer is very profound and it touched my heart in an amazing way. God has used Byron’s trial of physical need for a new heart to touch so many of us, but then He always uses those of us who are willing to bring Him glory and honor. I am so glad for your Dad’s faithfulness to Him.

  19. Becky Jones Says:

    Thanks so much for the update! God has blessed us once again with this wonderful miracle. My prayers continue for all of you. God is so good!

  20. Martha & Howard Wright Says:

    Tina, We are from Eastman,GA and love your Dad very much. We appreciate this detailed
    rundown on Byron’s progress. Give him and your Mother our best wishes and we pray for a speedy recovery.

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