Today I was reading the liver website that I am a part of, and I came across a post titled "We got the call"! Knowing that someone's child is receiving the gift of life is amazing, and reading about it takes me back to the exact moment when I got that call.That day is by far the most vivid in my mind of any day that I have ever had in my life so far (including the day Emma was born). You see, the day that we received "the call" was the day of the re-birth of our baby girl...however, it was a baby that we had already seen, held, loved, cherished, and knew that we would do anything and everything in our power to save her life. The day we received "the call" was the day that her life began...a life that would not have existed otherwise.
Emma was officially placed on the transplant list on January 21, 2004 after much nogotiating between the insurance company and the hospital. We were told the wait was typically 6 months to a year. We knew that our little girl was getting more and more sick every day. She was so weak. She had been on oxygen for a month, and life was looking very bleak. We knew that we could not go far away from our home because we could get "the call" at any moment, but the minutes turned to hours and the hours to days....when would the call come??? Looking back it is amazing...it seems like she was listed forever (when your child is waiting for a life saving organ transplant time has a way of standing still), however she waited only 2 months before that glorious day. While we waited we cried a lot. We talked about all of the "what if's"...things that no parent should ever have to think about, let alone talk about, but it was staring us in the face each time we looked at Emma. We each prayed our own prayers, but that seemed to be more difficult to discuss.
Tim and I were BOTH out of town the weekend before we got the call. Tim was coaching high school swimming and I was coaching high school cheerleading, and we each had our state events that weekend. Emma was with her grandparents that weekend, and the fear that her liver would come was huge! We had arranged everything "just in case", but I prayed that it would not happen that weekend. I wanted to be with Emma at that time! We were so relieved when we were both back home waiting with Emma.
Emma's call for transplant came on Friday, March 19, 2004. I got her ready that morning and took her to meet the babysitter (I meet the bus driver at her kids' bus stop). Emma had had blood in her diaper that morning, and I had a bad feeling about it. I remember sitting there waiting for the babysitter to drive up. The place where we wait sits on a large lake with mountains all around it. As I sat there I had a very strange feeling come over me. I knew that we were going to get the call that day. The babysitter came I told her about the diaper, said that I would have my cell phone on, and left to drive to work.
I teach at a rural school. We have the priviledge of taking our entire school skiing every Friday in the winter. March 19 was the last ski day for our school that season. I usually ride on the bus with the kids, but that day I decided I had better take my own car. My sister (whose kids go to our school) and Terri (another teacher at our school) rode in my car with me. 1/2 way to the ski resort the bus pulled over and asked if we would go back to get something at the school, so we turned around and headed back. When we finally arrived at the ski resort I walked in downstairs and I was talking casually to one of the parents. One of the kids came down the stairs and said, "Mrs. Foley everyone is looking for you. YOu had a phone call". I said, "OH CRAP!!" (I know GREAT thing for a Kdg. teacher to say in front of all of her kids AND their parents LOL). I ran up the stairs. The owner of the ski resort looked at me and said, "Oh, yeah, you had a phone call from your husbands principal. It says ASAP so it must be important". (Insert...hello STUPID...remember me TELLING you for the past 3 months that my 7 mth. old child is waiting for a liver transplant!!!!!!!).
I called Tim's school, and the secretary told me Tim was on his way home because Denver had called and they had a liver. I hung up on her and started hysterically crying. My sister came up the stairs, then she escorted me to my car and drove me to Emma (going 100 mph...YIKES!! She NEVER speeds!!). When we got to my babysitter's bus stop, my sister skidded past the babysitter's car! The babysitter said, "Maybe you should switch drivers" (ha ha)! You know, the moment we got into the car I stopped crying and I did not cry again until 10 days AFTER Emma's transplant.
To be continued......