DECEMBER 18–It’s a Go

Bottom line for all who are holding their breath:

At 8:30 am, Caitlin was taken to the OR. At 9:30, we got word that the blessed donor lungs are good and that surgery will begin as these lungs make their way to Caitlin. (It’s a carefully timed and choreographed surgical dance.)

This will be a long day, with few updates. It’s an extremely high risk surgery at this point, and we can only hold tight. This is usually a 12-hour or so surgery, but it can go for up to 20 hours, or even more.

I’ll update, during the day, with what I know and with little stories about how this all went down.

THANK YOU, ALL, for your prayers and love and light for our beloved Caitlin, and for the donor family and their holiday loss. I am holding them in my heart.summer-2012

The light in our lives.

–Maryanne, with Nick, Andrew, and Jess


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

66 thoughts on “DECEMBER 18–It’s a Go

  1. I was praying for Caitlin and all of you for this to happen – amazing Christmas gift – I have tears in my eyes … there is a God. God bless.

  2. Thank you God and blessings to the donor family. Continuing prayers for a successful surgery and recovery. Our thoughts are with you! Love from the Needleman Family and Stacy and her family.

  3. Wow – Maryanne. The Raits will be with you in spirit during all of today and hope for a Christmas miracle.

    Lots of love from all of us.


    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Praying for all of you as you begin to endure this long awaited day. I pray that Caitlin gets guided through this day by God. I have faith. Strength to all.

  5. I AM SO THANKFUL! I am crying happy tears right now. Now will be sending love and prayers for a successful surgery all day today. From what you have shared with us, her medical team sounds like the best of the best. I know it has been an impossibly hard few weeks on her body, but she is still Caitlin and she is so strong, I know she’s got this!!

    Vibes of strength and calm to her caregivers. This is one of the hardest parts. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

  6. 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽❤️💫 STAY STRONG CAITLIN! Almost to the finish line, prayers and love will continue to pour through for you all!!

  7. My heart (thru God) is telling me everything is going to be OK. There will be some rough spots, but in the end, it WILL be a Christmas miracle. God is great. Stay strong and believe. Miracles do happen. Prayers going out to you all.
    Freda from Massachusetts.

  8. THANK YOU FOR THE UPDATE.! Now our prayers will not cease, our candles will keep burning, our love and faith will surround you all and especially Caitlin and her doctors all day long.

  9. I am weeping sitting here reading this… hoping hoping…remembering the times I spent waiting during the 2 transplants for news from the surgeons… the first was on December 30 1999 – which happened to be my birthday – oh the indescribable agony of that waiting of simply not knowing how to breathe or wait or stay sane… Doug and I sending you everything we have to send.

  10. What a Christmas miracle! We will be praying for the transplant and for the donor family with their loss.

    God bless you all!

  11. With tears, I say Hallelujah. Thanks be to God.

    Praying for a smooth and successful surgery and for the donor’s family. ❤️️

  12. Christmas is a time for miracles. Grateful for the miracle that a family in grief extended the gift of life to Caitlin. Praying for Caitlin and for all of you during this long day. May God guide her surgical team as they perform her surgery. Love to all.

  13. This is a miracle full of grace. Thank you for the information of Caitlin and all of you throughout today and praying for all to go well. Thank you, Maryanne for your gracious time in writing to all of us and keeping us aware and informed of the intimate and poignant story and journey of your lives. I am with you in thought and prayers today. Sending hugs to all of you and in awe of the strength of Caitlin and you, Nick, Andrew and Jess. Nanci Sullivan from Pittsburgh

  14. I didn’t sleep a wink, with all sorts of signs that these would be the lungs! How I hope that they are perfect for you and that I get to come and hug you asap!! Praying for complete success!! xoxox

  15. An absolute miracle has happened. The power of love, prayer and hope have worked. I’m crying tears of joy as I write this message, joy that the lungs were viable, joy that Caitlins life can begin again and joy that Maryanne & Nick get to share this life with their wonderful daughter. I know there is a long road ahead but we will all still be here offering love, support and prayers. With love from Eileen, Padraig, all the Murphy’s, Trumpers and too many friends to mention xxxx

  16. So very happy for this miracle. Prayers for stability, strength and all that goes with it for Caitlin, the medical team, and her family. Will be checking all day. Also thinking of the donor’s incredible gift.

  17. Sending all my good wishes and love to you and your family, and blessings to the donor whose gift made this possible.

  18. I can barely write through my tear swelled eyes. Your family will be in my thoughts all day and night. Sending prayers, hugs and all the positive thoughts possible. Blessed is the season of Miracles!

  19. Caitlin and donor family will be in our prayers. May God place his healing hands on her and guide the medical team, 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  20. Amazing news! She will be enveloped in love in the OR. Please tell Nick that Steve’s thoughts have been with him constantly and with all of you. ❤

  21. Crying as I read this…. Will pray all day for Caitlin and her beautiful family. Saint Theresa please send a special request to Jesus for a Christmas miracle xoxo

  22. This is the best Christmas present EVER!!! I have been thinking of you all constantly and spreading the word about Caitlin, organ donation, direct donation, cystic fibrosis – all of it. I pray this goes beautifully, for you deserve nothing less! Godspeed!!!

  23. I don’t know you but Di is an old friend (from 4th grade) so any dear friend of hers is a friend of mine. Have been sending prayers and light to Caitlin since she shared on FB, and will continue to do so. Christmas Blessings from NH. Sierra

  24. I met Nick a few times when I worked at The International. I haven’t met you or your daughter, but I’ve been following Caitlyn’s story, and have had her in my thoughts every day since reading about her for the first time! Your story prompted me to sign up as a donor. I’m sure today will be a very long and harrowing day, but I was so excited to read the news that you found a match for the lungs for Caitlyn! I’ll be thinking of you all today, and sending positive thoughts your way!

  25. Love and light, prayers continuing without ceasing. My entire congregation has been praying for Caitlin nonstop and several wept with joy this morning at the news. We know it will be a long surgery but as always will remain ferociously positive for Caitlin.

  26. I am so thankful and happy for you all As you move forward with this surgical Process. My prayers are with Caitlin for A successful transplant XO Ann Marie ————— 508-641-4216

    Sent from my iPhone


  27. Such great news. Praying for Caitlin as she moves forward with this surgical endeavor. Special thanks to the donor family. Such a life defining Christmas gift
    XO. Ann Marie

  28. Holding Caitlin and all of you, including the donor’s family and the medical staff, in my thoughts and heartfelt love, for light and life and peace.

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