Navigating the Long Road to Transplant
Terry Meade is amazed at what she and her husband, Mark, have been through in the last three years.
Their journey began in 2005 when Terry and Mark traveled to San Jose, California to attend the Ebay Live! Convention. Terry is an Ebay Power Seller. While in San Jose, Mark suffered a massive heart attack. His condition was so grave that he was immediately transferred to Sequoia Hospital and underwent surgery. Terry and Mark, now 3,000 miles from home, were without the support of New Jersey family and friends but they found much needed support in surprising places.
While Mark was being cared for at Sequoia Hospital, Terry was fortunate enough to stay in a “Guest House” located on the hospital grounds. The Guest House provided lodging to a limited number of family members, allowing Terry to be near Mark during his six-week recuperation without having to bear the full expense of a hotel room, meals, parking, etc.
I would tackle I-95 twice each day for four months, on my own, overwhelmed by the isolation of leaving Mark in the hospital. -- Terry Meade
And while Terry stayed in California, the wonderful eBay community who knew Terry and Mark rallied around them. Terry found an immediate network of eBay well-wishers who were closely following their story and chronicled Mark’s recovery and their journey home.
Terry’s eBay family was again alerted in February 2008 when Mark was admitted to Hahnemann University Hospital for a heart transplant. But without the benefit of a “guest house” nearby, it was necessary for Terry to drive from their home in Princeton, New Jersey to Philadelphia and back every day to be near Mark. But on June 4, 2008, it was all worth it because Mark received his heart transplant from an anonymous but generous family.
But the journey to transplant was arduous for Terry as it is for many families navigating unfamiliar territory.
“If someone had told me that this girl from Brooklyn, who never drove beyond her neighborhood, would tackle I-95 twice each day for four months, on my own, crying all the way home each night, overwhelmed by the isolation of leaving Mark in the hospital and the terror of not knowing what was going to happen, I would have said that they had the wrong story.” Terry made this trip each day because she couldn’t afford to stay in the hotels near the hospital while paying for meals, parking and all of the other daily out-of-pocket expenses.
While Terry and Mark plan to join Gift of Life Donor Program’s speakers bureau and share their experiences to increase awareness about the critical need for organ donation, they are especially committed to raising funds and awareness about the critical role that Gift of Life Family House will play.
From a Waiting Room to a Warm Room Waiting..
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