Christy Full Story

The experience of a major organ transplant is rather surreal.  It all happens very fast, with no real warning.  One moment you are on a transplant list, then all of a sudden you are receiving a transplant.

Christy has been on the transplant list for over a year and a half.  She has been called in for transplant surgery twice, but each time the final tissue match tests on the donor ruled Christy out. The ups and downs are terrible.  Christy finally decided not to tell us when she got called to the hospital until they got to the point confirming the transplant was confirmed.  That meant, about half an hour before surgery.

On Wednesday evening last week, January 17, we were just finishing a small group Bible study at the home of friends.  As we were about to head home we received a text from Christy saying that she was in Vancouver General Hospital and her double lung transplant would begin at 10:00 pm.  All the tissue matches were good, the surgery was confirmed.  I think the text said something like, “at VGH, a go for tonight, 10 pm.” Well, at least we had 35 minutes warning.  Enough time for our group to stop and pray before we went home.

Christy’s operation went incredibly well.  It is normally a 10 hour operation, sometimes 8, sometimes 12.  Her double lung transplant took just under 6 hours. They spent longer putting my leg back together several years ago!

Christy’s recovery has also been very, very good.  She was breathing on her own within hours of waking up.  She was out of ICU in 48 hours and into the regular hospital, a private sterile room, but the main hospital.  By Sunday she was down to one IV from the original five.  Nose tubes out, down to two chest drains from the original four.  Catheter out and walking into the bathroom on her own.  By Tuesday afternoon the last two chest drains were out.  For the first time since she was little she has colour in her face, not chalky white.

While we were with Christy on Sunday afternoon a member of the surgical team came by to check on her.  He told us that Christy was their miracle patient.  No one has a 6 hour double lung transplant.  No double lung transplant patient is out of ICU in 48 hours.  No one progresses like she has.  We are thankful for so many people praying for her, including the head surgeon of the transplant team who is himself a Christian.

Today – Christy continues to make a remarkable recovery from her double lung transplant.  Her lung function is very good, she is progressing very well in physiotherapy.  She no longer has to have someone with her 24 hours per day.  She still is not allowed to drive, so for the three days per week she is living in Vancouver for hospital clinic visits and physiotherapy Sandra is with her.  Weekends Christy is with her husband, other days at home she can be alone. 

Christy needs lots of prayer for her recovery.  It will be a very long process.  She is a fighter and she has the prayers of people around the world.  She is in the Lord’s hands which is all we can ask for.

Gary Clow

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