Before I get into this “Moment in Time” post, I want to reiterate that way beyond my personal journey, that I am documenting on these pages, that there was another human being that was also on a path that would ultimately result in this person saving my life after they took their last breath. This blog is NOT all about just me and my journey, it is equally as much about the story of my donor and his/her journey. If I ever know that story, I will share it. God bless my donor and my donor family! This anonymous person is the true hero of my story.
It was “Cinco De Mayo” ….. 5 years ago today. Kentucky Derby day as well!!
After a week of by-pass surgery and 50 some “Code Blues” ….. the Doctors at my local hospital could see that I needed more advanced care than they could perform at the local facility. The decision is made, insurance is dealt with and I am destined to be sent to the VERY best cardiac hospital in the world, via helicopter.
Oddly, I remember very little of this three-week period in my life, but I DO vivdly remember this transfer from one facility to another. This 90 minutes, perhaps two hours of time.
It was a cold, breezy, cloudy day and the cool air burned my throat and lungs as I was wheeled outside on the gurney and placed into the back-end of the helicopter. The crew asked if I wanted a headset, but I declined. I had been on many copters decades earlier, carrying an M-60 machine gun as a Specialist 4th Class. As I laid there strapped to the gurney, watching out my little window I listened to the whine as the pilot started the engine. It brought back memories of hanging out the side door of choppers, tracer rounds, brass, machine gun ammo belt links flying through the air, mixed with the over powering yet intoxicating smell of gun smoke after the deafening sound of a few hundred rounds of ammo had been fired.
But this flight was different. Instead of violence, it was a mission of miracles. As we took off I was able to trace the route by the interstates we crossed. It wasn’t long and we were landing on a different roof, and I got one last breath or two of the cool damp air before being whisked inside.
My mind was working as I arrived and I was calculating the time we left and arrived and how long it would take my family to arrive by vehicle. I remember a number of doctors and nurses asking me questions in rapid fire succession. And, I also remember, quite vividly, a trumpet playing outside the window near my bed …. playing a soulful blues, very peaceful blues …. I assumed it was a street beggar, playing for loose change …. later, this was totally denied by family and hospital staff ….. apparently it was one of many, many hallucinations I would have. It was a sound I’ll never forget.
I do remember my family eventually arriving …. then I drifted off or coded yet again ….. not awakening again for another 12 days or so.
The miracles will continue ….. daily!
“Fly me high through the starry skies or maybe to an astral plane, cross the highways of fantasy, help me to forget today’s pain.” – Gary Wright, Dream Weaver