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7/14/2017 Latest post:
Bridget is a cancer survivor, a survivor of seven heart attacks, and now the grateful and astonished recipient of a new heart! After 6 1/2 years waiting, she got the call Saturday, July 1, 2017. After 10 hours under anesthesia she has emerged. The surgeon said,"as soon as we put it in her it started banging away in her chest." Bridget has had a long road with many wonderful people supporting her along the way. She is now being bouyed by all of your concern, hope, prayers, and love. I hope to update this page as much as possible so you can follow along this unbelievable journey we were afraid to hope we could have. Bridget and her new heart have now spent 24 hours getting to know each other. We think they will become lifelong friends. She is stable, has had no bumps in the road thus far, but is still intubated. They have lightened her sedation, but have remarked on how sensitive she is to medications. It is no surprise to you that Bridget is a lightweight when it comes to drugs. Because of this it will take her a while to wake up. But she is definitely there. She has opened her eyes, looks at us, she has let us know she is not in pain but hates the tube, her chin quivered yesterday when John saw her for the first time and they both cried like the Irish souls they are, and the task for today is to continue to stabilize her and work towards extubation. She is very puffy and pale and she has about 25 different drips, all par for the course. We have met the 3 surgeons, 3 anesthesiologists, and multiple cardiologists involved in her care. The infectious disease specialist in charge of the Hep C heart transplant study she is in found me at 0300 yesterday to see if I had any questions. It may shock you to know I was too stunned, exhausted, excited, and afraid to muster more than thank you, lots of times. What has been beautiful to see is how passionate each of the people here have been about her care. So for examples, the ER nurse who brought Bridget and us down to the PACU (preanesthesia care unit) confessed to me that she gets totally excited and thrilled every time she makes this walk with a heart transplant candidate. The head doctor of the ER poked his head in to introduce himself and let her know he was there to help. Her surgeon had the surgeon swag and confidence we absolutely needed. I know that guy ruined every curve on every test in med school, but I wanted that kind of perspicacity on Bridget's team. The transplant cardiologist (who has a very very soothing Irish brogue and eyes and a smile that melts me) is the tempering voice of caution that provides a good balance to the surgeon swag, and he is sweet and kind and dedicated. Bridget's cardiologist who has followed her since she got on the list called her while she was on her way down. The nurse Bridget had yesterday has done surgical cardiac care for 40 years. SHe was so incredibly competent and explained everything and she understood how we were all in shock,and she kept telling Bridget she looked like sleeping Beauty. I have already heard from her casweorker and her social worker. So this is our initial report. Many updates to come. I can't wait to read Bridget all of your texts and facebook posts which are so important and appreciated and supportive. Bridget cannot receive flowers in the ICU. She loves cards. I feel like drawings and pictures will really help her along as visual messages of support. Bridget was excited and nervous but not one bit afraid. Except of IV's. They got the first IV in on the first try, and all the other lines went in while she was asleep. She is not in pain. She is incredibly brave. She has hope.Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.