After talking to the transplant coordinator at 2:30 Sunday morning about the possible liver for Alan, Greg and I both began to shake. We couldn't do anything for shaking. We cried, we prayed, we hugged our little boy, and then we got busy.
We began making phone calls. Waking up family members who had also spent weeks waiting for that phone call. We began packing. I was SO glad I had kept a packing list current (according to the season and whatever new stuff I had acquired or thought of bringing) on the computer. I printed it out and packed by it. Thinking was nearly impossible, so for me, that list was a lifesaver!
After another call with the transplant coordinator at 3:00am, we knew we needed to be on the way by 3:30. Whoa! So much to be done! My parents & sister arrived to help. We woke Dale up.
Time quickly ran out. We gathered around for a prayer and left the driveway at 3:40am. Aside from the apprehension for what was coming in the hours ahead, one of the hardest things was waving good-bye to Dale, him standing on the front porch in his pajamas in the middle of the night. Goodness, I love that boy.
We arrived at the hospital at 5:45 and made our way over to the ER. A nurse there whisked us into a private room, and before long, someone escorted us to the admission desk. We went through the usual admission process and were led up to the GI floor.
I answered all the admission questions and Greg went with Alan to get his IV started. IV starts have always been hard with Alan and this was no exception. Finally, on the 3rd try, there was success. Not much later, my parents & Kristin arrived. Alan was getting pretty restless and hungry. I didn't hold him since I knew he would ask to nurse and that was a no-no before surgery. Everyone else took turns entertaining him until he fell asleep on Greg's shoulder.
We were very surprised to find out surgery was scheduled for 10:30am. We had expected sometime after lunch. My grandparents arrived. We were told Alan would go into pre-op at 9:30. It was already 9:00!
More prayer, and off to pre-op we went. We were all allowed to go. Alan woke up and was in a great mood. It was such a blessing to be able to see him laugh and play as we waited to send him off into such a major surgery, knowing we wouldn't see him like this for days to come.
Things got a little tough when his IV went bad. The nurses tried to replace it, but didn't want to put Alan through too much and opted to have it replaced in the OR after he was sedated some.
And then, it was time. We gathered around for one more prayer time, and I handed Alan over to the OR nurse. We watched her carrying him away down the long, long hallway, pointing out things and talking to him as they went. Then through a set of double doors they went, and the hallway was empty.