DECEMBER 16–The Tiger Inside

caitlin o'hara, little matches
Instagram opened to this. I like a good sign.

Clearly, my silence of the past few days has indicated that it has been a time of waxing and waning health and hope. I’m not going to go into all the details but Caitlin has had a lot of complications and on Tuesday was temporarily considered “not strong enough to undergo surgery.” BUT–in the past 36 hours, she has made some steady and unexpected improvements. The incredible Penny, our ICU doc, has pulled all kinds of tricks out of her Mary Poppins bag to help her, and Caitlin’s deeply gifted intuitive healer cousin, Sinead, in London, has been working, nonstop, (even talking with Caitlin in her sleep, she’s been told), to read Caitlin, (it’s wild how accurate she is), and send healing. We all feel the prayers and energy coming from all around our buddy. Probably most importantly, deep inside, Caitlin’s inner tiger stopped resisting and fighting the help and is now calmly fighting to help herself.

Her liver and kidneys were in trouble, and her blood pressure was low. She went on dialysis on Tuesday. By yesterday, they’d cut way back on it, and her body was producing lots of urine on its own, surprising everyone.

She was put on blood pressure support to increase her blood pressure.  She’s still on blood pressure support meds, but they’ve been reduced, with no drop in pressure, and that’s a good sign. We need for that to continue.

Her liver is still in trouble, but it’s a young liver and can bounce back. Still, we need to help it improve, and that means cutting down on the medications she’s on.

Her belly was having problems and they’ve had to stop feeding for a while to give it a break.

So there’s a list of stuff to pray for. She’s very sick but there is hope. You can read some of the comments on this blog, from other transplant patients, who’ve “been there and lived to tell the tale.” I’m grateful that strangers have reached out to comfort us with their stories.

The surgeons are still considering all offers for her, but any lungs cannot be less than perfect in her case, they must be Harry Potter lungs. And she must be strong enough to withstand the surgery. So it’s a constant monitoring, and a “feel,” as her surgeon said.

I cannot thank you all enough for sending so much love and support her way. This has been a difficult emotional time, yet also overwhelmingly uplifting.

Nothing is worth more than love. Nothing.


–Maryanne, with Nick, Andrew, Jess






Author: kittenupdates

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

33 thoughts on “DECEMBER 16–The Tiger Inside”

    1. Don’t give up! On 12/25/96 my daughter (Jennifer Lynn Piazza) got the call that her lungs were coming for her double lung transplant. She also had CF and a lot of complications that almost prevented her transplant. She was also near the end of her life and this was going to be her last Christmas. God is good and it was the best Christmas gift ever. She was only 23 and she was given 18 more months of life. She really had a very good year of no oxygen, a cruise with snorkeling and sight seeing and roller blading. She never forgot the extra special year of doing things she thought would be impossible. I know prayers helped, so I am sending many your way for a blessing for your special angel to send you lungs for Christmas. Mom and Dad be strong. GOD IS ALL LOVING!

  1. I have forwarded your story to some new media people in hopes of getting some news coverage, more than word of mouth and social media. I am a friend of the Cindrich family and am trying to connect to more people who can get the word out in a broader way. Continued prayers. I believe in Christmas miracles!

  2. Sending many prayers for Caitlin to keep being that tiger and for Harry Potter lungs to become available. (friend of Cathy Dirlim)

  3. Continuing to pray for Caitlin throughout the day. She, and you, are my first thought when I open my eyes every morning and pray that today is the day she gets her lungs.

  4. Tears. Wishes. Strength. Lungs. Angels. Love. Too worried and emotional to make it into a sentence with the impact I want to give it. But I hope, how I hope, all day, how I hope.

  5. Maryanne, Nick, and Caitlin, sending prayers and love to all of you. Caitlin is constantly on my mind, and I’m hoping that Christmas finds Caitlin with her successful transplant and on a path to health and joy. Much love
    Chris Muller

  6. …and we continue to send our love and support to you during this time of Advent waiting for the miracle which will happen…. Anne and Walter

  7. We all know there is a strong fighter inside, Caitlin. I continue to pray and have faith that she will get these ‘Harry Potter’ lungs, ASAP!! Thank you for the updates, they are much appreciated, and help us to know where to focus our positive energy! xox

  8. As a fellow traveller on your path at Childrens since the mid 1980’s I wanted to send all my love and thoughts for new lungs and a new start.

    Mike Dad of Jenny (d 2002) and Alex.

  9. I open your blog first thing in the morning when I wake up (and at 2 am when I can’t sleep). I look at it several times during the day and it is always the last thing I look at before bed. I knew deep down that radio silence was not good (as opposed to no news because she was on her way to surgery). But I told Vernon Caitlin is a fighter, and she will have that miracle! She is surrounded, around the world,
    with love and hope and prayers, so many prayers.

    I am continuing to be ferociously positive for Caitlin – she would want nothing less! Please know that we are constantly thinking of you all – Maryanne, Nick, Andrew, and of course Caitlin, our beautiful warrior princess.

    Light and love

  10. Our wishes for you: STRENGTH, not just for Caitlin but for all of you, including the amazing team of doctors and nursing staff there; WILL, to carry on through this journey; HOPE, for the perfect solution and precious lungs; CARE, from all of us; PEACE, knowing that you are doing all of the right things. We think of you constantly. With much love, Marcia and Amber.

  11. I don’t know how to send enough love and healing and positive energy your way but I keep trying. My heart breaks to hear how difficult this time is, how her stability comes and goes. Know that I continue to think of her and wish for her and dedicate things to her throughout every day. Know that I am checking on this blog constantly, as others have said, first thing, last thing, and several times throughout each day. I will concentrate now on this wave of good signs continuing, building momentum, and carrying her into a successful transplant.

  12. She is a tiger and I know she feels all of us fighting and praying for her. You are close to my heart and always in my thoughts. Sending strength and live to you all.

  13. Hi Caitlin,
    Sending you prayers and uplifting thoughts of Peace Strength and Hope!
    Stay strong and keep fighting!

    With Love and Light,
    Your Fay School Classmate,
    Elizabeth Dickerson ’98

  14. Our thoughts prayers and love are with you all every minute of the day, we are all so positive Caitlin will receive her new lungs very soon she is a fighter xxxxxx we will never give up on her 💕

  15. Caitlin has always been a fighter and we believe she will come through this , thinking of all of you ilene barry and mike liner

  16. You and Caitlin are in my thoughts and prayers daily…I do believe in miracles and I know that all these prayers are helping. xo

  17. Thank you, Maryanne, for the update. We are praying hard and holding to hope and to the miracle that is coming. So good that she is calm now, and her body is working to heal! Love and Light are flooding into that hospital and surrounding all of you, and the doctors and nurses. May every single organ in Caitlin’s body absorb this light and love as she gets the deep rest she needs to heal.

  18. Just saw Nick’d clip on fox25… very moving piece. Certainly eye opening. The message is getting out there. Prayers continue here in Hopkinton. Xoxo Mj & Scott

  19. Bless you all! Sending much peace, positivity & blessings your way. I can’t imagine how hard it is to keep waiting for things to shift. Keep up the good work staying strong & contining to fight. You are in my thoughts and prayers, I’m believing in a bright 2017 for Caitlin.

  20. Thank you Caitlin, Maryanne and Jess for the profound and poignant writings. They touched me deeply. I am constantly praying and you all are constantly in my thoughts. “No one has ever said I spent too much time loving someone.” May your love for each other hold you together with hope. My Caitlin’s new lungs come on angel’s wings.

  21. The Wedens are praying hard and pulling for Caitlin, and are optimistic that this season with bring this lovely woman a new set of lungs. God speed….

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