6am. ‘DOn’t look so worried I’m going to be okay’
6.30.’ LOve you’ our eyes connect. I leave to give him time with his parents and girlfriend
7am. Huddled on couch outside surgery
8am. The psychologist/social worker arrives to talk to us. “they’ve started opening him up”
9am. She’s back. “they are still busy opening his sternum and chest. It’s the toughest part of the operation because he has a lot of scar tissue.”
10am. I go get some tea for my brother, his wife, mathew’s girlfriend and his friend.
10.30 A family friend who hasn’t left our side comes to visit and we have a chat. The distraction helps.
11.15. Man with a red bag over his shoulder. human parts in white written up.
11.45 two men with red and white cases Human blood emblazoned on it. He’s losing a lot of blood, we hear.
11.50 “They are clamping the hearts”
11.52 WHat does that mean. Is the body of the donor next to matthew? No the heart has been brought in, she says. I think of the donor’s family. In that moment i send so much strength to them. i think of the doctors around my nephew as the transplant is happening. i think of the transplant co-ordinators. ANd i look next to me, and there is my brother, and i see him as a young boy and now decades later outside this surgery room praying for his son. nothing prepared us for this when we were growing up.
12.11 she comes back. “I have some great news, the heart has had its first beat on its own, unassisted…Matt’s new heart is beating all on its own in his chest..
we look at each other, tears well up. the moment lingers, stretched out, all of us suspended in these sweet words.
Then the moment’s gone and We all start sms’ing our family, our parents, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters, so far from us, in another city, to tell them the news. and the sms’s start coming back
Yes yes yes
He is a lion
Oh thank you thank you, God is great
and finally we start exhaling. and my brother says let’s prAy. and we hold each others hands, the five of us, my brother, my dearest sister-in-law, matt’s girlfriend and his friend, and me, and we pray in our own different ways, connected together by our humanness, and pain, by the genetic code that has bonded us forever but mostly by our love