There are so many emotions running through me right now, I just don’t know where to start.
First off, I’ll start by saying that my mom had her operation today, which was successful, and is now officially beginning her long road to recovery. The hardest part of this entire process is in our rear-view mirror right now. :’)
We were told last Wednesday (Nov 23) by doctors that there was an anonymous donor who had gone through most of the testing and the operation would be penciled in for Monday (Nov 28). In the past as I mentioned in my previous post, we were told three times over the phone that someone was almost certain to be a match, only to have our happiness crushed by the results of further tests that deemed them to be incompatible with my mother. This was the first time we were told personally by doctors, and the first time we were given an operation date of any kind. (Before we were told operations were usually scheduled two weeks after a donor was found, however, due to my mom’s condition they bumped it up to within a few days). This was AMAZING news for my family, yet we all remained cautiously excited due to the fact that we had been through a similar rush of emotions before only to have them crushed. For this reason, I did not update anyone on the internet, and treat the news as if we were in the clear and everything was good. I wanted people to keep spreading the word should the small chance that the operation got delayed or even cancelled, which was a possibility, occurred. The donor could have been cut open on operation day by the surgeons; the surgeons may not have liked what they saw with the liver, and they may have cancelled the operation. The chances of that happening were low, but still a possibility.
My mom as I’m writing this is heavily sedated in the Intensive Care Unit for post-operation recovery. She will be in there for a few days so they can monitor her to make sure there are no complications with her body accepting the new liver. All day all the updates we have received from surgeons or nurses have been excellent, saying everything is going according to plan and that my mother’s body is tolerating everything that they are doing to her body. They have IVs all over her body, as well as a breathing tube which will be removed sometime tomorrow as she recovers, but I couldn’t be happier that we as a family have FINALLY reached this stage, the stage where my family can begin to help my mom through this long road of recovery. (We were told 3-6 months before she is back to living a normal life) After all my mom has been through, all the pain, all the suffering, all the hospital visits, and what we as a family have been through seeing this amazing person that we love so deeply in that kind of undeserving pain, it’s just… it’s so surreal, and I can’t possibly begin to describe the feelings in words. To say this is extremely relieving doesn’t do justice to the significance of the event. It’s so overwhelming, and I couldn’t be happier that hopefully sometime very soon, my mom will have her normal, happy life back again. :’)
As for who the donor is, the donor throughout all this has chosen to remain anonymous. We just know as a family that it isn’t anyone we know, as everyone we know has told us they haven’t received a call to be tested yet. So as a family we have come to a conclusion that one of you guys, someone anonymous who does not know us personally, a viewer of this website, is the donor. Finding a liver donor is EXTREMELY difficult, that is something I have found out the hard way throughout this whole ordeal. If you don’t have someone personally request to donate to someone you know, you could wait for up to 2 years for a donor, especially if you have a rare blood type like my mom. Understandably so, this is an organ donation. It’s not like we were asking someone to donate blood, a procedure that takes less than 10 minutes and live the rest of day as if nothing happened. We were asking for someone to give them a piece of themselves, to give my mom her life back, to have themselves cut open, bare stitches for life, and go through a recovery time that could last up to 8 weeks… that’s HUGE. So the fact that this donor is someone we don’t even know, a complete stranger who has given my family the greatest gift of all is just… how do you describe an action like that? Unselfish, caring, thoughtful… these words are such an understatement, you can’t possibly justify in words how amazing an act like this is. This anonymous donor is truly an angel. We have our mom back, because of someone we’ve never met, someone who of as of right now, doesn’t even want to be known. It’s incredible.
My family deeply, deeply wants to thank the donor personally, but we have no idea who it is so we can’t. They have just gave us our mom back, the glue that holds our family together, someone who has done everything for us. It’s sad that at the moment, we are unable to thank this extremely generous human being. It really gives you faith for humanity knowing that in a world where bad always seems to be happening in one way or another, there are amazing people out there who are capable of doing good you could never imagine.
So whoever you are, wherever you live… this message can’t possibly be enough to express how truly thankful and appreciative we are of what you’ve done for us. I could write until my fingers fell off, and I still wouldn’t be thanking you enough. If we could ever have the chance to thank you in person, my family would greatly appreciate that and respect all your wishes, whatever it may be, whether it’s not receiving anything in return or not telling your story to others. But if we could just get the opportunity to thank you in person, to hug you, and tell you how much you’ve effected and helped our family…we would absolutely love that opportunity. If you wish to remain anonymous, we will certainly respect your wishes. However, we want you to know that you are an angel. You’ve literally given us the greatest gift we will ever receive, and there’s just no possible way we can thank you enough. How could we? Thank you. <3
As for everyone else, I can’t thank you enough for spreading the word, for offering to donate, for getting blood tested, offering words of encouragement, whatever you did that helped comfort our family in knowing that there were many people concerned and wanting to help. Not just from people I know personally, the majority of responses were actually from people I’ve never met before, which was absolutely overwhelming, considering what I was asking for and the fact that they did not even know me. To me it’s incredible that someone cared so much about a situation that someone else they had not met before was in. It was overwhelming. To the people I know, and don’t know, all the creative things you’ve done through all this to help spread awareness, whether it was making green ribbons, business cards, tumblr posts, profile pictures with green ribbons, absolutely anything. Even all the reblogs, retweeting, forwarding, etc. There are just so many people to thank, with so much thanks to give. Also to some celebrities who made my story reach A LOT of people by retweeting my story. J.P. Arencibia, Patrick Stump, LIGHTS just to name a few. You guys assisting to spread the word, saved my mom. This anonymous donor, may have read my post directly, or through a retweet, or a reblog of my post and seen that. That person ended up saving my mom’s life. I have my mom back.
It may be hard to understand that if you haven’t been in this situation, but after seeing my mom go through what she’s been through, fighting hard through all the pain and sleepless nights, and in the back of your mind wondering what is going to happen to her, to be able to say ‘I have my mom back’… wow. :’)
I also want to thank Toronto General Hospital and their staff for everything. I have been here many times with my mom over the past few months, in the past three weeks I have practically lived here, sleeping overnights in waiting rooms and what not. The staff here, whether it was the surgeons, doctors, nurses, or even housekeeping, everyone was always extremely caring and happy, and made our family feel like there was no better place in the world for my mom to be treated at in the world then at this hospital. The staff was extremely kind, extremely hard working, and extremely caring and understanding of all situations. I have been here, like I said, for the past three weeks, along with one trip last month, and not once have I been displeased with any member of the Toronto General Staff even in the slightest. They are amazing people who run a world class hospital here. There work will forever be appreciated by our family.
Thank you all! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will do my very best over the next few days (may even take weeks or months with the amount of responses I got) to thank you all individually. I’ll go through tweets, e-mails, messages, posts, and thank everyone individually for all you’ve done. Throughout all this I saw a lot of things being done by many people that definitely did not go unnoticed by me. Regardless of what you did, even if you did the smallest of things, I want to reach out to you and thank you individually. I just hope I do not miss anyone when I go through all the thank you’s. :’)
She’ll be able to watch me graduate, she’ll be able to travel the world, she’ll be able to enjoy her life again to its fullest, I’ll have a mother to walk me down the aisle when I get married someday, she’ll be able to enjoy time with the people she loves and the people who love her again… when my mom fully recovers from this, the sky will be the limit for her. All thanks to you. Thank you.
Miracles do happen.