Duke Visit - Day 3 - 3/1/17

Day three is over. Bonnie has been through a number of tests including manometry, pulmonary rehab, various labs, a VQ scan, cardiologist consult, CT scan of chest and sinus, pulmonary transplant nutrition consultation, and ultra sound for various organs. We got to meet with one of the surgeon's, Dr. Jacob Klapper. Folks, these medical professionals are incredible. To top it off, Dr. Klapper could have just left casting for Grey's Anatomy (or so Bonnie says, hah!). We have explored Durham, NC, had local barbecue from the Original Q Shack. We think we have found an apartment complex that will allow us to bring Lucy, and it is right across the street from the pulmonary rehab center.
I have had my doubts about this place – it seemed impersonal, institutional, and factory like. That is a personal bias that I have had to fight. My protective nature and belief that Bonnie is always worthy of and deserving of special treatment did not jive well (at first) with the program in place. They are slowly winning me over. Dr. Klapper took the time to visit with us – after being up for 36 hours and conducting four separate double lung transplant operations. I was speechless. I am not going to sugarcoat it, this team is tough. They demand dedication, tenacity, and mental strength. I am now starting to understand why. This procedure and process is grueling, the actual operation and recovery was described as “Hell on Earth”. The team here want us all to be as prepared and dedicated as they are. At first, I thought this was because they were simply pretentious, that Duke Medicine’s reputation was more important than patient outcomes/comfort. I now believe this to be untrue. If all goes as planned, they will have Bonnie’s life literally in their hands. They are unwilling and unable to live with themselves unless they are absolutely certain she is physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared to cope with any complications that invariably occur post-transplant.
We still have a long road ahead of us. We still aren’t sure that Duke will even accept her as a candidate. But we are all in this with our eyes wide open. Thank you all again for everything you do. The text messages, emails, prayers, phone calls, events, fundraisers, dinners are just – overwhelming, humbling, and greatly appreciated. Today was a good day. Thank you all and have a great night,
-Nick

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