Wednesday, June 4, 2014

every breath you take

a couple of weeks ago, i shared the story of my friend laura, my knottie friend who was fighting a lung disease and awaiting an organ donor for a heart and double lung transplant.

not long after that post, a donor did indeed come through for her.  the doctors did what they do, deeming the organs suitable for her body, and performed the long transplant surgery.  as they were finishing it all and getting her closed up, the heart...stopped.  they were able to revive her, but that heart just couldn't do what it needed to do.

laura passed away yesterday.

with the help of social media, there were hundreds - even thousands - of people who were praying for laura and her family.  her story reached so many folks who hoped and prayed for her to be able to pull through and return to her loving husband and beautiful daughters.  and as the sad news spread, there was an outpouring of love and support from people who knew her, knew him, or simply knew OF them.  we were all so hopeful and optimistic that for a lot of us, the possibility of her not surviving wasn't even a consideration.  it's just so, so heartbreaking.

her husband johnny is the strongest, most positive and faithful husband in the world.  and by that, i literally mean full of faith - as he continued to update the facebook page he'd started for laura on a daily basis, he would infuse those posts with cheerfulness as he delivered whatever news there was to share.  and he would end each post with a heartfelt, fervent prayer for his wife to be healed and come home to her family.  and even as he broke the awful news yesterday, his faith was strong and unfailing.  while he has every reason to scream and shout and rage at the world, he chooses not to join the dark side - which, let's face it, would probably be easier at this point.  and of course he's got to be incredibly upset and sorrowful.  but as you read his post, he expresses deep feelings of gratitude, love, protectiveness over their children, and always, always faith.

while there's sure to be an abundance of offers to help johnny and their daughters, who are just 2 and 4, my friend yahpee said it best:  yes, they will need assistance in the days to come.  lots of it.  and if you're so inclined, the donation page that johnny's sister set up for them is still active and open for donations in any amount.  but we also need to make sure that we don't forget them as time passes and our lives move on.  let's continue to remember and support and pray and love this family 2, 3, 6, 9, 12 months from now - and beyond.

and as we all mourn the loss of our friend laura, i'd like to just toss out a reminder that organ donation is so incredibly important.  and signing up to become a donor is super easy and takes just a few minutes, if you haven't already done so.  you can do it online, even.  it's an incredibly bittersweet notion - for someone to live, another must die.  but if you can save up to 8 people by signing up to be a donor...well, i just can't see why not.

thank you, laura, for your kindness, friendship and humor.  we love and miss you tremendously, and we'll do the best we can to help your family as they face life without you in it.  i know you'll be watching over them, too.

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