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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mark Shares His Thoughts: "Thankful to Be Here"

It’s been six weeks since my surgery to implant the VAD (ventricular assist device).  From Jami’s last blog post you can get a sense of the urgency associated with the surgery.  I’m just so thankful that there was a plan B when my heart decided it was not going to hold out until donor heart became available.  I’ve heard that almost 50% of heart transplants are a transition from a VAD to a new heart.
I was out of the hospital and back home in 7 days… really fast for a surgery this invasive.
The surgery was on March 21.  Since then I’ve had two unscheduled stays in the hospital as we try to get my coumadin (blood thinner) dosage right.  The pump can clog if the blood is too thick… that would be bad.  I’m told that the unscheduled short stays happen to everyone…   Jami can attest that being readmitted are some of my saddest times.  I’d say I’m most focused on one goal right now… staying out of the hospital as I recuperate.  I believe I’ll be picking up my activity bit by bit as I gain strength and have less pain (the pump is not a welcome guest in my chest and some nerves inside my ribcage really take issue with the unwanted visitor bumping around in there).
Bright spots include celebrating Paige’s prom last week.  I got be the official photographer for a pre-prom event at Jami’s parent’s house.

…and today I had the privilege of celebrating with Reilly as she passed her driver test on her 16th birthday!!!

I’m so thankful to be getting back my stamina and feeling healthy.  My appetite is returning and I’m slowing gaining back weight which I desperately need to prepare for the heart transplant.  I’ve got some time.  It’s typically 6 months to heal from the surgery then I’ll go back on the list and wait. Having my mobility and being able to wait at home is a blessing but it will take time for a new heart to become available.  I’ve heard all kinds of estimates, conservatively I’m looking at 9-18 months.
But life is sweet and I’m thankful for every day!


  1. Mark and Jami,
    Although we have never met Jami my love for Mark and you and your family is not ever a question for me. I have been praying without ceasing, Mark and you are on my mind and heart and in my prayers. I am a believer in healing and in a God who is in the midst - ever present in our situation. I don't know how or why always but I do know He loves deeply about ALL the details of our lives. I write to affirm with you and Mark my steadfast prayers and love for a man who has impacted my life as friend and partner in varied personal moments.

    May God's loving, healing presence give you peace. May His bountiful mercy and grace cover your home and your coming in and your going out. May His divine wisdom ever know and see and do in Mark and through Mark that which brings life and joy and healing and may it all be to His glory. Mark is a gracious man. As I read his and your accounts, I see his character, love and concern for others shine deeply. His heart in one sense may not work right, but it remains big and open to those around him. That 's what I love about him and that is my prayer - that he be healed so he may not only receive a new heart but continue to share his heart with others.

    1. Thank you for this blessing, Jim! We must meet! Your words, prayers and spirit of encouragement sustain us! Sending love and blessings back to you!