Posts Tagged ‘Daddy’

Jesus In Daddy’s Heart

Friday, May 14th, 2010

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!