I'm sitting with four dear friends and one new friend in the Pittsburgh Presbyterian Hospital. This hospital specializes in Lung Transplants and my sweet friend, Lorene is on the Lung Transplant list because she was diagnosed in 2010 with Scleroderma. Her symptoms have caused her lungs to harden - which makes it extremely hard to do anything. In the past, people with this form of scleroderma were sent home to die - but now there are a few hospitals that offer lung transplants. It's not easy to get in the list but after lorene was rejected from Duke - Pittsburgh said yes. You can read about her journey - here.
We were sitting in her apartment for only 1 1/2 hours when Lorene got a phone call around 2:00 pm. There was a lung available and they wanted her in the hospital in the next 30 minutes. This is the first time that she was given a hospital room and was completely ready in a bed for surgery at 9:30 tonight.
So we are waiting. With Lorene and her husband, Steve. They have a sweet relationship and are both handling the unknowns of this disease and the transplant situation well.
We know right now that one of her three surgeons flew to where the available lung is and is personally going to check it out. If this lung is a healthy match then the surgeon will fly back with it and then Lorene will go into surgery.
We've laughed a lot today. A lot.
Lorene, Sandi, Mandi and Kelly have all been friends since they were in elementary school. I met them all in high school. We are telling stories, making fun of each other and catching up. All 5 of us haven't been together since the end of high school.
It's now 1:00 am.
The lungs were a no-go. The surgeon found pneumonia in the lungs so another doctor came to let Lorene know. She was released and we all left.
There was a sense all day that it would be amazing that if she received her new lungs while the four of us were here. So it was a definite let down to hear that she wasn't getting new lungs tonight.
I'm still so thankful that we have been here with her though - this roller coaster is part of her journey. It's been amazing to me to see the outpouring of love, well-wishes and prayers from so many people in her life - from all over the world! Keep the prayers coming...for her strength and continued health and for her new lungs to come available soon!