Sad News has not been a stranger to this blog. Once again, I have the sad task of reporting of the death of my son. Sons are supposed to outlive their father and bury him, not the other way around, but here I am for the second time. My second son, Francis, has died as the result of organ rejection after his lung transplant.
That sounds horrible, but a better way to put it is he lived five years longer because he received a transplant and they were mostly, wonderful, glorious years where he lived as if he never had a problem.
Like his brother before him, he was a Cystic Fibrosis patient and the disease had progressed to the point where his lungs were failing. Imagine life where you had to stop and breathe when you walk from the couch to the kitchen, a distance of ten feet. He had only weeks, probably to live if he had not had the transplant when he did.
The whole story is elsewhere in this blog. Go back and read it, if you are interested.
I don’t really feel like writing this, but for the sake of giving the end to the story, I am. It was a long voyage and most of it was wonderful. I got to spend a lot of time with Frank as we traveled back and forth from his Doctors in NYC.
We met up in Arizona one summer at his cousin’s wedding. He took the trip of a lifetime across country by bus, stopping to visit friends and make new ones along the way. We drove and met up out there. Spent great days at his Aunt’s and visiting the Grand Canyon. He was like a new person.
But, eventually, he caught some infection and started to reject his new lungs. Every transplant is a tightrope walk of balancing medicines between their side-effects and interactions with the body, and protecting the organs from rejection. Every change upsets the balance, and while the doctors are very good at tweaking things, it doesn’t always work.
Anyway, his new lungs were damaged and could no longer sustain his active life. He deteriorated to the point where he was bedridden. But he faced it with a great positive attitude and made the most of it. After all, it was all time he would not have had otherwise.
There is a whole other story about the group of friends that supported him throughout the whole time, and maybe I’ll tell that story later, but for now, this is about all I can write.