In December of 2014, my family and I went through a tragic time in our lives, it changed us in ways we could never imagine. My father was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and we all raced there right after him. I can still remember to this day the phone call I got from my mom, “Kayla (her voice was very unsteady and she was freaking out), you need to go to the hospital right now! Something happened to your dad and he isn’t doing good at all.” I could hear the panic in my voice when I told my fiance now husband that we need to leave right now! I remember my knees collapsing below me and just falling to the floor.
We get to the hospital and beat the ambulance there, my dad is still being transported and we are told to “wait in the waiting room until someone comes to get us.” As we waited there, I just kept picturing all kinds of things in my head.. people were talking to me but I was in a totally different area in my mind. Finally, the doctor comes out and lets us go back to the room that my dad is in, I walk through the door, there in front of me is my dad. This man may be my dad but it looks nothing like him, he is in so much pain and barely there. I walk beside him and the only words that come out of his mouth were “Gatorade.” He was so thirsty and I had a bottle of it in my hand… I always do where ever I go. He then didn’t say anything else and I just remember sliding down the wall and crying. Every part of me thought that this would be the last time I would see my dad. The doctor then took us into another room and told us ” We will be taking him up to the ICU, he is a very sick man and we can only take it day by day.”
In the days that passed my dad would go up and down with his health like that of a roller coaster ride. It was a definite roller coaster ride, we had no idea where the end was going to take us but could only trust that God had a big plan. The first surgery that my dad had was a true blessing, the night before a doctor told my mom “you need to make a decision on what you want to do because they were not doing surgery.” We just prayed and prayed, people were praying everywhere, that is when the doctor called and told my mom “there was a doctor that was willing to do a surgery that was done in Colorado but new to Michigan.” This surgery was actually the first one done at the big hospital in our area where my dad was admitted too. The surgery lasted 8 hours and within those hours there was a waiting room full of people showing their love, gratitude, and prayers towards my father.
The days that followed after my father’s surgery were very hard, he had to be in an area that they called “low stimulation” we were not able to talk or even touch him. He had lines coming from everywhere out of him, and he was truly suffering. You could see it even though he was heavily medicated, in the 12 hours that passed my dad then had to go for another surgery. They placed catheters in his brain to stop the blood clots, he had so many blood clots that were forming they had to try and stop it.
Taking each day by day went to taking each day hour by hour. We counted down the hours until we heard from the doctors, we lived in the hospital and slept in the waiting room at times. We got to know the nurses on a personal level and were able to even inspire some of them. Here comes my next part of the story; There were so many people that came to see my dad, he was so incredibly loved and inspired very many people in his lifetime. Well, they were all there, the waiting room became so full a nurse went to a family member of ours crying “she said she had never seen the waiting room as full as that with people praying and gathering together ever in the several years that she has worked there as a nurse.
On December 17th my father was declared brain dead, the day where we had to decide what would be best for him. A day my sister, mom and I never thought would ever happen to us. We have seen something on t.v or something like this happens to someone else, but you never imagine in a million years that it would happen to you until it does and shakes you to your core. We may have lost my father, but we decided as a family to donate his organs and work with Gift of life, and haven’t looked back, or regretted it since! This was the best thing we could have ever done for my father’s legacy, hearing that you saved the life for someone else brings so much joy and happiness and lets you remember God has new mercies every day. Lamentations 3:22-23 says “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”