Two months ago today Hana’s chest was closed up after getting her new heart and we saw her wheeled out of the OR elevator into the CVICU. Just thinking about that moment is overwhelming with emotions – relief, joy, fear, grief and some emotions I don’t have names for. I think of the family of the donor and I like to picture a little spark of life from their child beating inside Hana. Maybe that picture can bring them some comfort or instead knowing that we honor their child every day by living life fully and with gratitude.
There’s some unfinished business I’d like to tidy up before continuing. I was reminded when I saw that today’s “Feel Good Friday” blog post from the hospital is an update on how Hana is doing post-transplant. You can read the story here:
I want to share two things of unfinished business. The first one is about one of Hana’s nurses. One of Hana’s nurses, Marisa, is the nurse who responded so amazingly the day Hana’s Berlin Heart stopped working. I wrote about it in the post “Emergency“. Well, because of her amazing response (and also the other nurses who responded were amazing in their own right) Marisa was awarded the Daisy Award, which is an award thanking extraordinary nurses. I was so proud when she got the award, even though I did nothing, but I was very proud of Marisa and grateful for having such an excellent team supporting us. She won the award back in May and it was the special news that I mentioned in the post “Climbing” but I was waiting to share it and then Hana’s transplant happened and I forgot! Here is a picture of the sign Hana and I made to hang on her hospital room door after Marisa won the award.
My other order of business is that I wanted to share some more of the beautiful images taken by photographer Anne Daiva, while Hana was still in the hospital and on the Berlin Heart. We just recently got to see them. They really remind us where we’ve been, how far we’ve come and how grateful we are. Life is so good.
In current news, Hana had a great week. We spent the day at home on Tuesday and got a lot of things organized and cleaned. Several women in the neighborhood came over and got to work. I love my neighborhood and my neighbors! There’s still a lot to do but it might have to wait until the painters are done painting the house. Hana seemed to love being home and drank more milk than I’ve ever seen her do. On Wednesday I took her to a public wading pool (we went early and left when it started to get a little crowded). She loved it! She was smiling and laughing and splashing! On Thursday she had her feeding appointment and in the evening she got to go swimming again! Thank you Stacy! We had a great time.
Still, when I hear stories of other kids that don’t do so well I get very scared. It continues to be a bit of a recalibration every time, every day. Heart transplant is not a cure. Things are going well today, I celebrate that. I focus on what is going on now. I suppose it will be something constant that I will need to remind myself of, but, not only does it stop my fear from blooming out of control, but, what I am left with is how grateful I am for what I have today.
Lastly, Hana had her clinic visit today. They did not give us a date when we could move home. They want her Prograf levels to be consistent before they let us go. I think that is reasonable. They did seem to think that two weeks would get us there. They also said that Hana could go to music class when we get back home and that she could attend birthday parties! I was pretty excited to hear that. Maybe we will even have a birthday party for her! It is coming up very soon!
Thank you everyone, for all that you’ve done.