It wasn’t a false call this time. We were ready for it to be another false call. When the transplant coordinator moonwalked into the room with a massive smile on her face, I knew it was going to be a different outcome than the last time.
Within half an hour of the moonwalk Coen was in theatre. As of 4 pm that day, no matter what happened, things would never be the same again.
Coen got very nervous while going down to theatre. Being a teenager he had his mobile phone with him in theatre and it rang twice while he was being prepped. Apart from going to theatre, the atmosphere was relaxed throughout the day.
Mark and I went home while Coen was in theatre. Friends came over and we had a relaxing drink and chat. At 11pm there was a phone call saying all had gone well and they were sewing him up.
By 1am we were able to see Coen in ICU. He was on a respirator with tubes, leads and lines coming out from every possible source. We were told the operation had gone very well and the fit of the cut down lungs was extremely good.
The next morning Coen was slowly woken up so the breathing tube could be removed. As he was waking he signed for a piece of paper and pen. After a lot of guessing on what he was writing, he had written “I don’t know how girls do this”, referring to the breathing tube.
By 11am the breathing tube was out. Things were going great. Two days later and the doctors couldn’t believe that the biggest issue Coen had was constipation. Day 5 he was moved to the ward.
A couple of days later our bubble burst when Coen’s heart rate started to climb. It rose to 150 beats a minute and it was decided to return him to ICU for further investigations and a broncoscopy (camera into the lungs). That was the start of the many complications to come.
Over the next 2 weeks the heart rate ran high (between 150 – 180 for long periods of time). Fluid was found in the lungs, fluid was found around the heart and a drain placed to drain it out and Coen got a bowel blockage.
None of the above come without their pains and various degrees of discomfort.
We are now 3 weeks post transplant, still in ICU and still going a step backward for every 2 steps forward.
We are happy to be here and look forward to a wonderful Christmas.