This is a posting I wrote on a support website that I'm a member of and I wanted to share with you:
After being on the wait list for 23 months, I received a double lung transplant on Mar. 12, 2017. I'm a 60 year old female diagnosed with Scleroderma 2007 and PF Nov. 2013. Prior to transplantation, I kept fit through pulmonary rehab twice a week and exercising on my own at home. I was already on a feeding tube from a previous hospital stay due to malnutrition and respiratory infection. Needless to say, I was happy to finally get the call after waiting so long and looked forward to life after transplant. I was in the hospital, including rehab 4 1/2 months. I suffered through a lot of complications after the transplant with the worst being C-diff which lasted about 2 months. I was so miserable, uncomfortable, sad, depressed, anxious, etc..... But with much prayer, family support, doctors and staff support and encouragement, I made it through and today doing very well. Four weeks into my stay, I was transferred to rehab. The transfer was too early--I wasn't physically ready for the change and after 4 weeks in rehab was transferred back to the hospital then back to rehab before I was officially released to come home. My body was so weak and I had lost so much body mass that I had to learn how to walk, talk, breathe, and groom myself all over again. There were times I didn't think I would make it but my strong faith in God kicked in and then I knew without a doubt it would all be okay. As I begin to make small strides (or as I called them "milestones") in my recovery such as weaning off the ventilator and the trach collar, my confidence grew and I begin to get stronger and stronger. I was discharged from my second stay in rehab on July 22, 2017 and was elated to be home. However I had to return to the hospital 3 days later due to constant nausea and vomitting of my meds. That stay lasted 5 days and changes were made in my medications. I returned home with a renewed hope. After a week or so I had not had a bowel movement and called my coordinator. He told me to come to the ER immediately. That stay lasted about 7 days. More changes were made in my meds and feeding supplement. Again I returned home believing all of this is just routine stuff and part of the process of having a transplant. A week later I went to the outpatient center for labs and received a call that evening to come to the ER as soon as possible. This time it was due to dehydration and the inability to get an acceptable reading level from one of my rejection meds. That stay lasted 2 weeks. I probably would have been discharged sooner but hurricane Harvey was in route to the gulf coast and everything in Houston was shutting down. The doctors felt it better that I stay until after the storms and my family also agreed. It's now been almost 4 weeks since that last stay and I feel great, give or take the normal aches and pains that go with recovery. Due to Scleroderma and reflux, I had not eaten solid food since being admitted to the hospital back in March and the same continues at home. I now have to rely on a feeding supplements for at least six months and possibly longer. I'm okay with that, however it's getting pretty hard to ignor my mothers southern cooking but I'm determined to follow doctors orders because I want to recover and one day move back to my home in Mobile, AL (among other things). I've asked myself several times would I have gotten a transplant if I knew all that would happen as well as asking would I go through another transplant if needed. I haven't answered that question yet. Still thinking about it, but strongly leaning toward a "no". However, I'm thankful and happy that I made the decision that I did. I believe with all my heart that it was the right decision to make at the time and an experience that I'll never forget. God has given me new life and an awesome testimony of his grace and mercy. Speaking of new life, I'm also grateful to my donor family. I was surprise to receive a letter from the family with a picture of the donor. My heart rejoiced to put a picture to this person that agave me another chance at life. I'm now in the process of writing my response to the donor family.
Jun 27, 2017
Dear friends and supporters. I'm so happy to let you know that I received a double lung transplant on March 12, 2017 at Methodist Hospital in Houston. I apologize for taking so long to inform you of this good news. However, I think you'll understand if you knew what I've endured over the past few months. First of all, I'm not complaining. God has brought me through a tremendous three months of ups and downs which include three back sets and several additional procedures that had to be done in order to keep me headed in the right direction during my recovery. Today I can truly say that my prayers have been answered. I'm now in rehabilitation working hard to gain my strength back. It's hard.....but I'm determined to make it. The road ahead is long and I expect to be in this new facility for at least six weeks then home for continued rehab and recovery. Thanks again to all of you who continue to support me with your donations and prayers as well as your words of encouragement. It means so much.
Jan 08, 2017
My heartfelt thanks to all of you who donated to the campaign in my honor at HelpHOPELive in 2016 and especially during the holiday season. All donations are greatly appreciated. The new year is...
Oct 18, 2016
It's been a pretty rough last couple of months in my life. I was discharged from Methodist after spending 12 days in the hospital and 15 days in rehab. I couldn't take the shortness of breath any...
Aug 25, 2016
Good News Today I received a call from my transplant coordinator, Serena saying "Ms. Pettway, I have some good news for you". Of course my heart skipped a beat thinking the call had come to report...
Jun 01, 2016
Celebrated my 59th birthday last month and the 2nd birthday since I've begun this journey for new lungs. Boy how time flies by when you're waiting for something to happen. Actually, it flies by...
Apr 13, 2016
Had a pretty interesting Clinic visit the other week talking about blood types and antibodies. I've always known my blood type was B+ but asked for verification just in case it wasn't. Sure...
Mar 05, 2016
Hey everyone! It's been a while since I wrote, however life is good and moving ahead. I'm doing good at keeping my weight up but can't seem to go any further than 130-132 pounds. My appetite...
Feb 05, 2016
Below is an excerpt from my morning devotional reading titled "Victory Cry" Joshua 6:20.
The Israelites conquered the city of Jericho, finally claiming their rightful place in the promised...
Nov 23, 2015
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise His Holy name.
I can't believe I've been in Houston over a year; boy how time flies. It's been a year unlike anything I've ever experienced in...
Oct 28, 2015
I would like to give a big shout out THANKS to Ministers Rod and Margie Odom and Equilla Roberson along with New Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church for sponsoring a fundraising campaign on my behalf....
Oct 02, 2015
I love the weather here in Houston during this time of the year. It's slightly cool, shady, and the wind is lightly blowing. Perfect day to have a cup of coffee, tea or drink of choice on the...
Sep 11, 2015
Greetings to my supporters, friends, family and all of you who are sending up prayers on my behalf. Thank you for your continued support. It really means a lot as I continue to wait for donor...
Aug 09, 2015
All Praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on this beautiful Sunday. This is a day of praise and worship. I hope you had a chance to attend Church to honor God today. My thoughts and prayers...
Jul 13, 2015
I had a visit with the transplant team on 6/25 for a two month evaluation since being put on the transplant list. I made it through the labs, ct scans, and pulmonary function test with flying...
Jul 13, 2015
On this beautiful and hot Monday morning, I give all praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I thank Him for continuing to keep me lifted up in spirit and strength. I feel good...
Jun 24, 2015
Hello everyone. Tomorrow will be my first appointment with the transplant team since being placed on the transplant list. These visits are a requirement every 2 months in order to remain listed...
Jun 12, 2015
I'm thankful to God for keeping me and my family safe during the tremendous storms that passed through a couple of weeks ago. So many people in the Houston area lost their homes, cars, and...
May 21, 2015
I give all praise to God for keeping me in His loving care. Life is truly amazing and more profound every day I live. Of course, I have a lot of time now to think about Life (past, present &...
May 09, 2015
Tomorrow is a very special day. We celebrate Mothers Day. The older I get, the more I appreciate my mother and mothers around the world for the awesome responsibility they hold within their...
Apr 30, 2015
It's a really beautiful sunshine day here in Houston. There is something about the sunshine that gives a feeling of happiness. I'm feeding off of that sunshine today. It's all part of staying...
Apr 22, 2015
After all the testing, evaluations, clinics, more testing, and waiting, my name was finally put on the transplant list today. PRAISE GOD! I received my lung allocation score from the United...
Apr 10, 2015
All praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It's a very overcast and rainy day here in Houston, and I feel good in my spirit because God has allowed me to be here. Last night, I found myself...
Mar 31, 2015
All praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His blessings continue to flow daily. That appointment finally came through and will be performed next week. I felt some relief knowing that one...
Mar 17, 2015
The Bible says in Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not...
Mar 06, 2015
Dear Supporters. What a journey it has been getting to this stage of receiving a lung transplant. After numerous diagnostic testing, and meetings with the Methodist Transplant Team over the past...