thursday was scary. my mom called and the second i heard her voice, i knew something was up. she wasn’t crying or emotional. but she was frantic. she had spoken to dad’s liver doctor and he suggested we get to boston right away. things were not good. so thats what we did. after a brief bout of sobbing, we make arrangements, drop jude off with gramma sarah, our angel, and head to boston.
i knew this was it. he was dying. we would say goodbye and come home in a few days, dad-less. it was overwhelming.
we get to the ICU at mass general hospital. all seven of us make our way to his room (mom, me, brian, megan, nick, aunt, and jayne). its hard to explain if what i saw was worse than i thought, or better. dad was hooked up to a million tubes, with one coming out of his nose. he was yellow all over. but his eyes lit up when he saw us. he instantly started crying and so did we.
my dad was back. his speech was slurred and he looked awful, but this was the dad i remembered. we spent a few hours together, just sitting. he had us laughing and crying. he asked us to sing, so we sang. he asked us to pray for his nurses, so we prayed. after months of dealing with the loss and pain that this liver disease has brought, it was a breath of fresh air to see my real dad again.
despite our positive experience, we knew things were not good. he had a blood infection and his blood pressure was very low. we knew the reality of death was still present. but in a way, its almost as if we ignored it. we were so glad to have spent that quality time together, and it seemed like things would be ok. his nurse told us later on that as soon as dad heard that his family was near he turned around completely. i believe wholeheartedly that it was the power of God and of our family unit that saved his life that day.
the weekend continued and we spent many hours together. several doctors told us that they were convinced dad would be dead come thursday night. dad’s blood infection was still active and it could be up to two weeks before it cleared. he was still in danger and is too sick to accept a living donor. on saturday, before we left, a liver doctor came in to check on him. she told mom to expect a christmas miracle. dad’s blood infection was gone and he had now become a top priority on the transplant list. they are optimistic in their hopes that a liver will become available for dad and could even happen in as little as two weeks. tears filled our eyes as we heard this news. we certainly were not expecting this and it was the message of hope that we needed.
so now we continue to wait. dad is still in the ICU. he’s unable to eat and he is still hooked up to tubes. there may be other obstacles ahead and he will stay at mass general until his transplant. he will be bored and lonely, but he has hope. people have been telling me all along to hope and pray for a miracle. i often prayed for this, but i don’t think i really believed it could happen. but it has. he made it through the weekend, and that is amazing all on its own.
we praise God for bringing us all this far. dad has not fought this hard for nothing. his wife, kids, and grandchildren need him. the world needs him. and now we wait, hoping for that christmas miracle.
“let all that i am wait patiently before God, for my hope is in him.” Psalm 62:5