Aug 17, 2019 Latest post:
Sep 23, 2019
Let me start in the middle since the rest of this story has yet to be written. John has a new heart ♥️! While we always knew he had a heart of gold, he required an unanticipated heart transplant which was completed on 19 August 2019. WHAT?!!
While now in retrospect we may be able to attribute some symptoms since we moved in February to all of this nightmare, it was really only mid-July that we became concerned that something might be wrong. I say “might” because as a fit man who runs 3.5-5 miles/day 3-5 days a week plus ballroom dances with me 5 days or so a week - oh and that little thing called work and life - being run down would not be unexpected. Following some odd blood test results, he was sent to see a cardiologist for the first time in his life for baseline evaluations. He had a heart catheter on 1 Aug which showed no signs of clogged arteries (yay) and no sign of heart disease (also yay). The cath did show a small spot, likely an infection which is not uncommon, but seemingly not anything to worry about.
Buckle your seatbelts now cause this ride just accelerated!! The following week (w/c 4 August) John began with a slight cough for which he blamed me as I had returned from Germany with a cold. All week long he didn’t feel “great” and the cough became more persistent. Friday evening he opted out of our lesson due to his “cold”. Saturday evening we had a lovely dinner with a neighbor and new friends. The next morning, Sunday , John woke me and had a pain in his left should radiating across his chest, was short of breath, and wrapped in a blanket with uncontrollable chills. Reasonably we thought “the worst” - heart attack - and went to the ER.
How WRONG we were!!! After two hospitals and a helicopter and ambulance ride later, John was ultimately taken to a cardiac shock trauma center on Monday, 12 August. By Wednesday, he was a transplant candidate,. Thursday formally listed for a donor as a priority 3. Just a scant 12 hours later he rose to a Priority 1 (the sickest of the sick) and being kept alive by an external heart and lung bi-pass machine, called VA ECMO.
By the grace of God, a match for his totally failed heart was found miraculously fast. I was notified at 10.59pm Saturday, 17 August that his transplant surgery would occur on Sunday, 18 August.
19 August 2019 0500EST - my beloved, John Hirsch had a new ♥️
We have not even truly begun to digest all of this yet know that This is our new story and this site will be one way for us to keep family and friends updated in one place.
We appreciate your prayers, support and words of hope and encouragement. To Him be the glory!!!