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A True Thanks Giving

Thanksgiving has never been a favorite holiday for me.  It has always meant, “ok, now it is time for the real holiday season”…and it means mashed potatoes.  With gravy.  Anyway, this year is different. Thanksgiving 2013 is, for our family and friends, a true Thanks Giving.

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My handsome Ran.

On August 2 of this year my husband, Randy, was admitted to the University of Texas Southwestern University Hospital with severe lung inflammation.  Too ill for a biopsy, no one really understood what was happening to him.  After several rounds of treatment with prednisone (the usual treatment for lung inflammation), the Lung Transplant Team approached us about testing him for inclusion on the Lung Transplant list.  Double Lung Transplant.  Those are extremely frightening words….. end of the line words.  A lung transplant, is of course, for individuals with such severe lung disease that no other medical intervention is possible.  Testing began.

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The miracle of friendship

In order to be put on the Transplant List, one has to be at the correct weight, and have no other health issues.  They do a thorough physical…CT scans, xrays, colonoscopy, EKGs, EEGs, you name it, they check it. After a week of these tests, and sitting on the edge of our seats, Randy was put on the lung transplant list. He was actually number 1.


Randy’s father flew in from Florida; my son, Wes, cut a vacation short and rushed to Dallas; our friends and family began to pour in to visit with him.  We thought he would get lungs within a week or two, but no appropriate lungs became available.

On August 29th, Randy “crashed”.  His lungs failed.  The Transplant Team made a decision to put him on ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation), a machine which takes over for the lungs, oxygenating the body.  At the same time, Randy was put on a ventilator.  The purpose of ECMO and the ventilator was to act as “a bridge” to transplant.  What does that mean?  It means it is the last ditch effort to keep the patient alive until lungs become available.  Randy was kept in an unconscious state, on ECMO and the vent, for 12 days.


Continue reading this post on Tam Warner Minton’s blog, Travels With Tam

Tam Warner Minton

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? Live life on purpose and with passion and do what you can to make a difference in this world, no matter how small! Contact me at

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