Shreveport/Bossier Christian Family April 2010 : Page 14

Special Features: A Second Chance “Well, it's twins! Identical healthy lungs!” This was posted on Ronnie Edmiston’s Caring Bridge website on the day of his lung transplant on August 26, 2009. This was fitting, as the lungs in a very real sense provided a new birth date for Ronnie. However, he had traveled down a long road before arriving at this point. A practicing dentist since 1976, Ronnie had always been in good health, staying in shape and not smoking, even running twice in the New York Marathon. A routine physical exam in 2005 led to a diagnosis of Ideopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a thickening of the lungs without a known cause. Taken aback by this news, Ronnie was frightened and initially couldn’t even bring himself to research the disease. Over the next four years, his health declined to the point where he had trouble breathing, needed oxygen, and ended up in the ICU in June 2009. After nine days of extensive testing at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, it was determined that Ronnie qualified to be placed on the organ transplant list. Due to the grace of God, Ronnie was only on the list for one week. His family moved to Dallas during this time, since a transplant recipient has to live within one hour from the hospital. Despite an infection after the transplant, Ronnie has experienced a remarkable recovery and has been able to move back to Shreveport sooner than expected. Ronnie and his family are now adjusting to the “new normal”. He takes anti- rejection medications, which have unpleasant side effects, and must be careful about being in crowds and around small children due to his weakened immune system. He is currently in the process of regaining his strength, making taking care of himself a top priority. Another priority is spreading the word about organ donation, as he recently visited the local Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) to meet their staff, and is honored to talk to people about organ donation. The Edmiston Family six months before the transplant During this ordeal, Ronnie received wonderful support from his wife Tina, daughters Rachael and Kristen, and many caring friends. He was on numer- ous prayer lists of churches all across the country. “Nobody knows what God has planned for them at the time,” says Ronnie. “My doctors told me that I probably only had a couple more days to live. I could not even pick up a fork or chew food. God sent me the lungs at just the right time. I feel very blessed and thankful to be here with my family. Today my wife has her husband and my daughters have their dad because somebody was unselfish enough to donate their organs to benefit somebody like me.” — Ella Davidson Sharing Life…For Good It was the summer of 1995 and I had just graduated with a Masters of Communication Degree from Southwestern Seminary. Sheepskin in hand, I began my first real job in the Public Relations Department of Baylor Medical Center in Dallas. My first week involved paperwork, copier- machine instructions, and a baseball legend. Hall-of-Famer, Mickey Mantle, had come to Baylor for a liver trans- plant. I was immediately an expert on organ dona- tion, procurement, and anti-rejection drugs. In the coming weeks after Mantle's body failed and he died, I helped launch a donor-awareness program endorsed by Mantle's family. I interviewed recipients and saw first-hand the life-saving impact an organ donor could have. The Henson Family in the spring of 2009 Fast-forward fourteen years to Jackson, Mississippi, where our daughter suffered a catastrophic injury which resulted in her brain death. A representative from the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) spoke with us about the possibility of sharing our 12-year old's organs with others. It had been a grueling three weeks since the accident; weeks of prayer vigils, sleep deprivation, and bad hospi- tal coffee. Now that we had lost her, we were faced with a profound decision. We were completely spent, ready to go home and close the curtain on the surre- al nightmare of this experience. The MORA Representative explained that due to the orchestration of organ-recovery surgery, it could take up to two addition- al days before Maggie Lee's body could be released. Besides delaying our return home, the thought of her body going through anything else frankly made me cringe. John and I discussed pros and cons as we had often done before about a million less-important decisions. Alone in the Family Discussion room, John looked at me and said, "You know that she would give anything to anyone who needed it." Maggie Lee was a kind, generous soul who was always willing to share. We discussed praying and wait- ing for our miracle which never came, which could mean a life-saving trans- plant for someone else. We prayed and felt peace about this decision, arrived at because of our daughter's generosity. We agreed, completed the paperwork, and instantly the database of those wait- ing was searched for blood-type matching. We prayed for the families who would soon get the news for which they had been praying. As surgeons from three states were contacted, flights were coordinated and families alerted. I knew a lot about organ donation. I had even worked to promote it, but when it came down to my child being a donor, the decision was not an easy one to make. We are so thankful that by God's grace, we made the decision to share what Maggie Lee had no use for to radically change four other peoples' lives. — Jinny Henson 14 Shreveport/Bossier Christian Family www.SBChristianFamily.com Photo by Eric Sorensen

Sharing Life…For Good

It was the summer of 1995 and I had just graduated with a Masters of Communication Degree from Southwestern Seminary. Sheepskin in hand, I began my first real job in the Public Relations Department of Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.<br /> <br /> My first week involved paperwork, copiermachine instructions, and a baseball legend.<br /> <br /> Hall-of-Famer, Mickey Mantle, had come to Baylor for a liver transplant.<br /> <br /> I was immediately an expert on organ donation, procurement, and anti-rejection drugs. In the coming weeks after Mantle's body failed and he died, I helped launch a donor-awareness program endorsed by Mantle's family. I interviewed recipients and saw first-hand the life-saving impact an organ donor could have.<br /> <br /> Fast-forward fourteen years to Jackson, Mississippi, where our daughter suffered a catastrophic injury which resulted in her brain death. A representative from the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) spoke with us about the possibility of sharing our 12-year old's organs with others. It had been a grueling three weeks since the accident; weeks of prayer vigils, sleep deprivation, and bad hospital coffee. Now that we had lost her, we were faced with a profound decision.<br /> <br /> We were completely spent, ready to go home and close the curtain on the surreal nightmare of this experience. The MORA Representative explained that due to the orchestration of organ-recovery surgery, it could take up to two additional days before Maggie Lee's body could be released. Besides delaying our return home, the thought of her body going through anything else frankly made me cringe. John and I discussed pros and cons as we had often done before about a million less-important decisions.<br /> <br /> Alone in the Family Discussion room, John looked at me and said, "You know that she would give anything to anyone who needed it." Maggie Lee was a kind, generous soul who was always willing to share. We discussed praying and waiting for our miracle which never came, which could mean a life-saving transplant for someone else. We prayed and felt peace about this decision, arrived at because of our daughter's generosity.<br /> <br /> We agreed, completed the paperwork, and instantly the database of those waiting was searched for blood-type matching. We prayed for the families who would soon get the news for which they had been praying. As surgeons from three states were contacted, flights were coordinated and families alerted.<br /> <br /> I knew a lot about organ donation. I had even worked to promote it, but when it came down to my child being a donor, the decision was not an easy one to make. We are so thankful that by God's grace, we made the decision to share what Maggie Lee had no use for to radically change four other peoples' lives.

A Second Chance

A Second Chance<br /> “Well, it's twins! Identical healthy lungs!” This was posted on Ronnie Edmiston’s Caring Bridge website on the day of his lung transplant on August 26, 2009. This was fitting, as the lungs in a very real sense provided a new birth date for Ronnie.<br /> <br /> However, he had traveled down a long road before arriving at this point.<br /> <br /> A practicing dentist since 1976, Ronnie had always been in good health, staying in shape and not smoking, even running twice in the New York Marathon. A routine physical exam in 2005 led to a diagnosis of Ideopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a thickening of the lungs without a known cause. Taken aback by this news, Ronnie was frightened and initially couldn’t even bring himself to research the disease. Over the next four years, his health declined to the point where he had trouble breathing, needed oxygen, and ended up in the ICU in June 2009. After nine days of extensive testing at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, it was determined that Ronnie qualified to be placed on the organ transplant list.<br /> <br /> Due to the grace of God, Ronnie was only on the list for one week. His family moved to Dallas during this time, since a transplant recipient has to live within one hour from the hospital. Despite an infection after the transplant, Ronnie has experienced a remarkable recovery and has been able to move back to Shreveport sooner than expected.<br /> <br /> Ronnie and his family are now adjusting to the “new normal”. He takes antirejection medications, which have unpleasant side effects, and must be careful about being in crowds and around small children due to his weakened immune system. He is currently in the process of regaining his strength, making taking care of himself a top priority. Another priority is spreading the word about organ donation, as he recently visited the local Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) to meet their staff, and is honored to talk to people about organ donation.<br /> <br /> During this ordeal, Ronnie received wonderful support from his wife Tina, daughters Rachael and Kristen, and many caring friends.<br /> <br /> He was on numerous prayer lists of churches all across the country.<br /> <br /> “Nobody knows what God has planned for them at the time,” says Ronnie. “My doctors told me that I probably only had a couple more days to live. I could not even pick up a fork or chew food. God sent me the lungs at just the right time. I feel very blessed and thankful to be here with my family. Today my wife has her husband and my daughters have their dad because somebody was unselfish enough to donate their organs to benefit somebody like me.”

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
 

Loading