A year ago today Deb was in Emily's room in the hospital when she got a call at 7 AM that a heart was available. She made a series of calls to alert us of the impending miracle.
I was at the Devon Nicole house with a load of laundry in the washing machine. I ran out to the laundry to take the wet clothes out of the washer and locked myself out of the room wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I woke up the security guard, got my room unlocked, got dressed, packed all our wet and dry clothes, asked the security guard to get a shuttle to pick me up, and got to the hospital.
Deb ran downstairs to get a cup of coffee at Au Bon Pain and melted down when there was a line until strangers saw the wild stressed look in her eyes andlet her in front of them.
Jeff got a friend to drive him to Rochester (7 AM on a Saturday for a college kid is a good friend), where our friends Tom and Jerry picked him up in Tom's plane and flew him to Boston within two hours.
Aunt Susie was on the jetway with her daughter Sammi to visit us when the call came. She abandoned her daughter at O'Hare (she was 15) and husband Jon came to pick up Sam while Susie finished her trip to Boston.
Lisa Salberg from the HCMA got a call from Emily and almost drove off the NJ Turnpike when Emily said she was on her way to surgery.
Each of you who is close to us has a story of that day, and the following days while Emily's life was changed from certain death to a total rebirth.
A year later the memories are vivid, but the feeling of constant anxiety we had are gone. The head of the transplant unit, Dr. Betsy Blume, told us: "we will fix her." She was right.
Emily had three friends over last night for dinner and girl-talk. They looked at prom dresses, had cake, and stayed up much of the night. She got up and coached a swim meet this morning. Her attendance this year has been perfect except for the days she has had biopsies.
Our thoughts keep turning to the donor and the donor's family, who are facing a year since they lost a loved one. I hope knowing that you saved several lives by your generosity at a time of horrible stress provides some solace today, and every day since your tragic loss, and for all the days ahead of us. Life is precious, fragile, and worth cherishing.
It's been an amazing year. Thank you everybody for your help and support. I can't say it was easy, but it was a lot easier than the preceding year. Love from all of us.
Bob, Deb, Jeff, and of course, Emily.