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.
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 Nick