As the old adage goes, ‘the best laid plans often go awry.’ Since I was to be spending the past two weeks in sunny California, how come instead I found myself sitting at my daughter’s bedside in Intensive Care Unit, Toronto Western Hospital? I hadn’t planned on honoring that old saying, but there I was, day after day, praying for my daughter’s recovery.
As all of my readers know, Lorie successfully underwent a heart transplant exactly two years ago. In the ensuing months she has barely looked back. Other than medicine adjustments and the expected days of not feeling great, Lorie has recovered with no setbacks or serious side effects. So how could it be that on March 17th, rather than celebrating the second anniversary of her new heart, she was undergoing another life threatening surgery, this time in her brain?
Cancelled vacation plans never entered my mind. Priorities shift in a heartbeat when faced with a personal crisis and this crisis was unlike anything we had encountered before. Two weeks later, it still seems surreal .
I’ll spare the details of Lorie’s surgery, but it has been determined that she suffered a rapidly growing abscess deep within the brain which was the result of a simple bacterial infection. Infection is a dreaded side effect of transplant but not normally deep within the brain. Her medical teams are now exploring the primary source of this bacteria in order to avoid any further infection. I’m relieved and thankful beyond words to report Lorie survived her surgery and is recovering miraculously well and we hope to have her home in a few days. Even so, I find myself still trying to make sense of this sudden, unexpected turn of events.
Once again, with the prayers and kind thoughts from friends, acquaintances and even strangers, faith and love got us through. Since Lorie was suffering a brain infection, she was in a semi-unconscious state and for the first time I can remember, had lost her fight and spirit. For me, that was the scariest part of all as she always called upon her faith and her angels no matter what she was facing. I decided the night before her surgery that it was up to me to do it for her.
Life is a serious of synchronicities and I believe it was no accident that the weekend before all this happened I had attended the Hayhouse I Can Do It conference in Toronto. What better preparation could I have had for the stressful days ahead! With numerous speakers offering their expertise on health, nutrition, and all subjects spiritual, I was armed with a renewed strength, faith and spirit.
The evening before her surgery, I pondered all of the wonderful messages I had received and one thought kept resonating in my mind – Choose Life! I decided this would be my mantra and prayed to God and talked with Lorie all evening that life be her choice. I then decided to write a letter to God and to Lorie further imploring her to choose to stay. It was my hope that if she reached a point of decision where she had the choice to leave us or stay, her choice would be easier. Every time I awoke during the night, I picked up on my mantra begging her to stay with us and begging God to help her to choose life. We all needed her and she still had so much to do here on earth! However, I was fully aware that with my limited view of the future, my need for this situation to work out as I wanted and my deepest longing for my daughter to return to us whole and well was not mine to make. So along with Choose Life, I had to include another prayer of mine, turning outcome over to the Divine and trusting that outcome would be the best for all concerned.
Her dad, her husband, my husband and myself gathered in Lorie’s room at 7:00 a.m. the following morning to meet with her doctors and to be there for her before she went into surgery. A few hours later we heard the blessed news that surgery had gone well with no complications.
Hallelujah, she had chosen LIFE.
Although there are a lot of questions still unanswered and a lot of healing ahead of her, Lorie will be returning home this week and once again I have been reassured of the amazing power of faith, prayer, love and gratitude. Probably life’s biggest challenge is surrendering our will and accepting that outcome is never ours to determine. We are so very grateful that this time outcome did coincide with our will.