12/19, 5:30pm — Into the OR

Let’s hope they find something that’s causing these increasing lactates! This OR trip is proactive and good. Caitlin has a great medical team! My aunt just asked a good question: Is she aware that she’s been transplanted? The answer is YES. She’s listening. We told her. We told her that the lungs are perfect Harry […]

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DECEMBER 19–Another OR Visit

So Caitlin wasn’t going to make this a Hallmark Christmas miracle, no. That’s too easy, too sentimental, and Caitlin, compassionate as she is, is not one for easy sentiment. This is tough stuff she’s going through. She’s still in critical condition. The lactate levels continue to rise. That indicates there is dead tissue somewhere. They […]

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12/18–7:50pm

OKAY! She is successfully off the heart-lung bypass machine, and transitioned back onto ECMO. This needed to happen, and happen as quickly as possible. The dialysis will work to hopefully reduce the lactates in her liver. Thank you to our blessed real-life angel Sinead. I woke her up in London after the surgeon dropped the […]

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DECEMBER 16–A Matter of Ethics

  Many people rightly wonder why Caitlin couldn’t be transplanted at home, in our world-class medical city, Boston. The answer is disturbing, and points to a flaw in the medical system. It’s a fight she was gearing up to fight, one she plans to continue after transplant. Here is a draft of a letter she […]

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DECEMBER 16–The Thing with Feathers

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson I believe in the power of energy and I believe in the power of love. I believe that if as many people as possible know about Caitlin […]

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DECEMBER 16–The Tiger Inside

caitlin o'hara, little matches

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 […]

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DECEMBER 12–Stable, Search for Lungs Continues

Last night, we were all so exhausted that all I could do was ask for prayers and try to close my eyes while she was in the OR. The procedures lasted 3 hours. She came out at 2am. She is as stable as she can be right now. The situation is precarious. As I write […]

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DECEMBER 11 — Light Snow, Quiet

Sorry for the lull in updates, but things are pretty quiet in the CTICU today and that’s a good thing. It’s been snowing lightly all morning. Christmas carols are playing in the lobbies. Winter has come, and we always felt she’d be transplanted in winter. She’s had dressing changes, adjustments to the ECMO, constant monitoring, […]

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DECEMBER 8–Trials

Last night we received what could have been miraculous news. A good friend’s dear young cousin died suddenly. The family wanted to donate the organs. The cousin was the same size (5’3″)  and blood type (O+) as Caitlin. They did what’s called a direct donation, specifying that they wanted the lungs to go to Caitlin […]

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DECEMBER 5 –In ICU, on Life Support

Caitlin started to feel abnormally horrible on Saturday and began to rapidly deteriorate. Her team couldn’t get her plummeting sodium or elevated CO2 under control. She knew something was seriously wrong with her body, at the same time that she was increasingly out of it. Last night, around 8pm, they moved her to the MICU […]

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