DECEMBER 9–‘The Sickest Person in the United States’

Caitlin just got out of the OR again, where the head lung transplant surgeon here at UPMC Pittsburgh, Dr. John D’Cunha, inserted a trach. It gets the breathing tube out of her mouth, makes her a lot more comfortable, and helps her oxygen saturation.

He came in to tell us that all had gone well and that she was already in better overall condition because of it. He said, ‘I’ll feel a lot better when this one’s transplanted, though.’

Nick asked, ‘Anything?’

‘No,’ he said. We both felt that awful desperation that is forced to mix with patience. But the doctor went on, ‘But I have a good feeling about this weekend.’

And hope came back.

‘She’s the sickest person in the United States,’ he said. ‘She’s the sickest person who needs a lung transplant in the United States. You can quote me.’

Yesterday was my darkest day. But she pulled through and let me tell you that I can feel the outpouring of love and caring coming at us from everywhere. It’s palpable. While I was helping her relax before the trip to the OR, I put my hand on her chest. The energy coming through was like a magnet.

Thank you.

We are grateful to anyone out there who would consider the gift of a direct donation of life during a time of grief, as Nick’s family did when his brother, at age 29, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm.

Caitlin O’Hara is 5′ 2 with a blood type of O+ and is on life support at UPMC, Pittsburgh.

–Maryanne, with Nickscreen-shot-2016-12-09-at-1-31-36-pm

Author: kittenupdates

I am the author of CASCADE and LITTLE MATCHES: A Memoir of Grief and Light

58 thoughts on “DECEMBER 9–‘The Sickest Person in the United States’”

  1. I too am hanging on every post and come back often to check for updates – just sending love to you all and hope this weekend will be THE weekend the lungs come. xxxx

  2. How I wish we could do something to help. I feel like all the people that your wonderful family has ever touched are virtually holding hands around the country (and probably the globe), praying and sending you three our love and positive energy – we are all hoping that good lungs come as soon as possible. xo

  3. As we pray for Caitlin, I read about St. Therese and learned that “At the age of 14, on Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life. From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love.” We’re praying for that powerful energy before Christmas eve!!! Caitlin has amazing spirit too. Sending all of our love from Shrewsbury.

  4. Maryanne – your picture haunts me. I think about you constantly. I’d like to say I’d gladly trade places with you, because I know that you are precisely where none of us would ever want to be and how unfair it is that this where this awful disease has led you. I find it terrifying. Yet, I find tremendous strength and faith watching you persevere. I ache for you. I worry about how tired you must be. But you carry on, as we all would hope to be able to do if we ever found ourselves there in that bedside chair. I hope you don’t feel alone. I hope our thoughts and wishes and prayers are truly sustaining you and Nick – more than anything I hope you can believe that the power of prayer can heal and build you up. ❤ I believe very much in the power of prayer. I have seen it work miracles in my life (praying to have a child – Katie was born two weeks after Larry's and my tenth anniversary. Do you remember?) and I have seen people on the brink of death, pulled back from the edge and they are thriving today. Please believe that it works.

    I am trying to spread the word for Caitlin. You tell her to hold on because I am not done! We are going to bang the bushes and shake the trees to find her lungs. Keep the faith, Maryanne. Tell her to rest assured that we're working for her!!!! She's got this – time for the kitten to be a LION! Fight the fight!! ❤ ❤ Tell her to keep going. Poteris Modo Velis – you can if you will. Keep going, Caitlin. You keep going!!! ❤

    I'm waiting to hear from a very dear friend of mine who lost her daughter nearly ten years ago in a horrible automobile accident. It was between Christmas and New Years. Both daughters were in the car. Her mother was driving (the grandmother). Katie, in the front seat, got a bruise on her hip from the seatbelt. Kelly, in the back, died nearly on impact. My friend and her husband donated Kelly's organs and I've asked her to consider sharing her story from the perspective of the donor's family and making the decision to give these gifts in the face of unimaginable horrors. I think it's a perspective and a reminder that could put this tremendous decision into perspective. And God forbid this sort of tragedy happens to someone in this world, someone somehow connected to all of these contacts on FB and the Internet – that we can get back to your beautiful daughter, than it will not be for naught. I'll be in touch as soon as I hear from Donna. In the meantime, Keep breathing and know that people all over the place are working and praying and believing that this miracle will in fact come true. Godspeed.

  5. Lots of prayers from lots of people in Massachusetts are headed your way! Praying for a Christmas miracle!
    “Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, and looks to God alone; Laughs at impossibilities, and cries it shall be done.”
    – Charles Wesley

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