The Time is Here

Linden is currently in surgery getting her transplant! The last 24 hours have been a blur — but here is a quick recap.

Vacation Plans

We had originally planned to spend this weekend in Northern Illinois celebrating the Fourth of July with friends, but that plan was radically changed at 7:30 PM last night. After a beautiful 3 hour drive, we arrived at our destination in Galena, unloaded, and ordered from a local pizza joint.

We had barely finished cleaning up the kitchen and getting the kids in the bath when we got a phone call from Julie, our transplant nurse from Cincinnati. We had received a few calls from the nurses before including one earlier that day, so we didn't immediately think anything was up. After asking about Linden's current condition, she broke the news that they had an offer for a liver!

Pedal to the Metal

Time is of the essence in these situations, so the fact that we were in Northern Illinois did not help the situation. We were outside of the range that the hospital will normally accept as a reasonable time for arrival at the hospital. We told Julie that we could be at the hospital in 6.5 hours if we left immediately (Google said 7.5 hours but I have a heavy foot). She called the doctor as we waited with bated breath. Minutes later, she informed us that the doctor approved and we should leave immediately.

We grabbed all of the packed bags we had just unloaded, threw them in the back of the car, prayed with our friends, and sped off to Ohio. I don't know how I didn't get pulled over on the way as I was nearly 15 over the speed limit the entire way! Two redbulls and 6.5 hours later we pulled into the hospital at 3:00 AM.

Our Angel Baby

Linden woke up as happy as could be and was a little angel through admitting and getting set with IV's and what not. We all fell asleep on a pull out couch for a few hours and waited for the doctors to let us know our next steps.

We woke up this morning to a team of doctors and nurses introducing themselves and letting us know that Linden's surgery would be started in the next few hours! That pretty much catches you up to where we are now, waiting in a surgery consult room with family and getting updates on Linden's progress in surgery.

Practically the Lottery

There are more than a few reasons why this is an amazing set of circumstances, but here are a few of those reasons.

  1. The average transplant wait time is about 3.5 months, Linden has been on the list 3.5 weeks.

  2. Almost all transplant patients are transplanted when their PELD score is between a 25 and 35, Linden's is currently an 11.

  3. Many transplants in kids are split-liver transplants meaning they only get a part of a liver. This works fine most of the time, but can also introduce some complications not present in whole liver transplants. Linden not only received a liver matching her blood type exactly (AB+ the rarest there is) but also received a whole liver transplant!

The impact of these cannot be over stated! The fact that Linden is getting transplanted while she is still healthy also means her recovery will be much faster and should hopefully reduce her down time and our stay at the hospital.

God has been so good to us and to Linden and we have no doubt he will continue to be faithful to give us the grace and peace we need to make it through the next few weeks.

Thank you everyone so much for your prayers! We love you all!

Jake Bennett