Monday, May 4, 2009

Death and rebirth

In Palm Beach, FL, an older woman, somewhere around 70 years, passed away last week. She had a life, a family, and friends. She was an organ donor.

Drive a few hours south and you hit Ft. Lauderdale, FL. My Uncle Tim waits for a new lease on life. He has been battling liver disease for almost a year. It was shortly after Mason was born last June that the doctors diagnosed Timmy. Giving him months to live, they suggested hospice. Fail! Timmy started hospice so he could get medication and time to get government assistance for his medical care.

Backstory...Timmy sold his home and left his job to begin anew in Florida after a messy divorce. He hadn't been on his new job long enough for his insurance to start up and he had let his past insurance lapse distracted by the home sale and move. Unable to return to work and now diagnosed with terminal liver failure, he had no option for care but hospice. The government's failed health care system suggested that he just go and die in hospice.

My grandmother didn't give up. She wrote to state official's...spoke with doctors...pushed social security and medicaid...tossed the morphine and canceled the hospice care. They came and took his hospital bed from the house...because he wanted to live.

Last week, the woman in Palm Beach passed away and doctors transferred her liver to Ft. Lauderdale. My grandmother answered the call from the doctor and took Timmy to the hospital to accept his new liver.

He called us two days ago. We had visited him during the holidays and I had talked with him on the phone a few times. The heartbreak of seeing someone I cared for so sick and so helpless was terrifying...made worse by Hope's cancer recurrence and subsequent death.

He called to say thanks for visiting him and thinking of him and that he loved me. I saw him wasting away and now he's calling me. He sounds vibrant and aware and alive. I'm so happy that he has been given a second chance.

He has hope.

organ donation, consider it


J said...

Good to hear this. I'm an organ donor. I don't understand it when people aren't.
My best to your family.

Tina said...

That's amazing news! I am so glad to hear that your grandmother and Timmy fought so hard, and won :)