Friday, July 20, 2012

Taking a deep breath...Because I can

The big reveal

Many of you know me as a business owner, generally outspoken, always positive.  I have been called crazy, too quick to act, generous to a fault, and you can usually hear me humming or singing something, anything.  Music has long been my muse.  

I have a secret.  It's coming out, and now, I want everybody to know.  

It changes everything.  It changes how I view everything, and it will continue to shape who I am and what I do for the rest of my life.  It makes me tear up as I read this.  I have told a few.  Now I tell all.  

My darling Keith, the man who I met almost 6 years ago and who changed my life in such a profound way with his matter of fact attitude, knowledge of how things work and (more importantly) how to put them back together, needs new lungs.  His just aren't cutting it anymore.  He is on oxygen 24/7.  He has lost much weight.  He needs help now.  And so I am asking for this help.  

This blog is not for pity, because that will not help him.  This blog is to get some action.  Over time I will tell you about countless tests, doctors appointments and referrals that have happened over the years.  

What we need now, is for the transplant team at Toronto General Hospital to follow up on the referral that was sent to them 5 weeks ago by his respirologist.  I have been polite, left polite messages, made gentle requests but now I need to be louder.  I know many of you through my Twitter account @LHMaintenance, and will hopefully meet many more of you in the months to come.  

All I ask is for your prayers, your practical help and advice, and the knowledge that with all of the amazing people that I have met through Social Media, Keith will get the transplant that he needs, and I can continue to learn with every day, what an incredible soul he is.  



  1. Oh, my god. We did note his weight changes, but my brother can go from thick to overly thin in a few months without much effort, so it never occurred to me to mention it. And he never really had much in the way of breathing problems outside of that tampon video (dry heaving). I'm sorry to hear he's been struggling.

    What can Joe & I do for you and your family?


  2. If there's anything I can do from afar just say the word Sarah. Thinking good thoughts for you both.

  3. Wow, Sarah, that is quite a story. Never noticed anything about that when we last met, which is already a year ago. Guess this is more recent. Hope every will work out for Keith and that it will be soon. You are 2 wonderful people. This must be a hard time for both of you. I do not expect the Atlantic in the near future, but when i do again, i hope to be able to see you both again in good health! Take care!


  4. My prayers are with you and your Keith. I will pray, with all my might, that he gets his over-due appointment at the Toronto General and that his healing journey starts there. Stay strong

    Carrie Parris-Khan

  5. Our prayers are with you and I have shared your story with others, I hope it reaches those it needs to in order for a quick placement.

    Give Keith my best and please let me know if there is anything else I can do

    Alun Evans

  6. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. A friend has been waiting for a kidney transplant so I know the road you are facing. Stay strong and BELIEVE. God Bless.

  7. Sarah, I'm in shock. I had no idea this was going on. Please know you and Keith are in my thoughts and I wish for him a new pair of healthy lungs. Please keep blogging so we know what's going on and can help you in any way we can. Paula Sahker

  8. I hope all goes well! I hope you get a lung transplant and live to a good age !
    Love: your daughter! Kaitlin Childerhose!

  9. All I can say is: wow - no idea this was going on. Let me know of anything I can do to help (park your car at our house if you need to be downtown??), drive, etc. And we'll be praying for all of you of course!

  10. Sarah
    I had no idea...this is so shocking to hear. My thoughts & prayers are with you and Kieth. Keep on those damn doctors and stay strong. Please keep us all updated.
    All the best during this trying time. Keith is in my prayers.

  11. Katrina ChilderhoseJuly 20, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    He may not be an actor, an athlete or someone famous, but my ex-husband is just as deserving, if not more. He is one of the kindest, easiest going people you could ever meet. He has 2 young children and needs to be around to see them grow up, get married and have children of their own. Please help bring this to the attention of those who can help him get a lung transplant and share this.

  12. Katrina ChilderhoseJuly 20, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    So glad you are doing this Sarah!!!
    Keep staying strong and positive!!

  13. Thoughts and prayers are with you as you face this. May you find courage and strength, may the road be made easier, and may healing be upon your family.

  14. Hey Sarah, it's Jeff. I would contact the Hospital Administrator's office, the Ontario Medical Association, your MPP or all three. There are also public/client relations offices in each hospital that handle complaints and get answers/action. Failing this, with all the media attention surrounding Helene Campbell and her successful double lung transplant done in Toronto, I am sure that CTV/CP24 would LOVE to get hold of this story...

    We are finding out that, even though our healthcare system is touted as one of the world's best, the days of putting all of your faith in the healthcare system are long gone. Now, you MUST BE EDUCATED ON YOUR ILLNESS, AND ADVOCATE STRONGLY FOR YOURSELF. Sorry, I don't have any contacts to connect with, so this is my best advice. Sandy and I are thinking of you, and I will pop in on Keith again soon...

  15. Wow, Sarah. I'm so sorry to hear this. I have no idea about the medical or logistical aspects of this, but I'll share your story and hope someone who can help will find you. Best--Andy Hinds

  16. Hi Sarah, we haven't met and probably haven't interacted much on twitter but I was directed here and I feel terrible about what Keith is going through. My thoughts are with you guys and please let me know if there is anything I can share with my followers to help you in any way. Chris

  17. One of my Twitter friends recommended this blog:

    The bloggers twitter handle is @alungstory

  18. Hi Sarah, you know Keith and you are in our thoughts and prayers. I have no practical advice for you other than keep speaking up and knocking on doors until you get somewhere. Hugs!
    Nathalie & Glenn.

  19. You guys have been on my mind all week. I am so sad to hear of your struggles with our healthcare system and can certainly relate in my own way with Max. Sending light and love to you and Keith.

  20. Hi Sarah,
    Thank you for sharing your secret with us. You have been so brave and what an encouragement to us all. Just to let you know, we have not met at all, I saw your postings on FB but this story means so much, I am going to let my Bible Study Group and the church my family and I attend to for God's intervention in Keith's transplant needs. God keep you strong and give you wisdom and understanding in your present situation.

  21. You are in our prayers keith! i hope all goess well!

  22. Oh Sarah, what a beautiful picture of you and Keith! Anything I can do to help, please let me know- don't be shy. You have been so kind to me and my family. Thinking of you and Keith.


  23. I haven't read it myself, so not sure if it could be helpful, but there's a book out called Navigating Canada's Healthcare: The User Guide to Getting the Care You Need, by Michael Decter and Francesca Grosso. Although I don't know you (I used to work with Christie Davies) I hope this helps you find the answers you need. By the way, I saw Francesca Grosso speak and she was amazing. Try to contact her with your story and I imagine she would have excellent advice for you. Wishing you all the best.

  24. I've got to know both of you on both a professional and business level over the past few years. Truth is, I really like both of you and have noted especially over the years the struggles you've had with this Keith (as we've talked about it) and really hope and pray that your new lungs come soon. I myself and am a donor, I opted for this choice years ago while getting my license for reasons such as this. You're both very nice people and if anyone is deserving of this gift, it's certainly you Keith,
    I've mentioned it before and I'll say it again, if there's anything I can do to help make your lives a little easier at this time, please let me know.

    Love and respect

    Justin Roberts

  25. Sarah and Keith,
    This is catching me completely by surprise.
    I'll let the team here know tomorrow and we'll all be thinking of contacts we know that may help.
    Please give Keith our best and let him know we're praying for you both.
    Take Care, Daniel Durst.

  26. Hi, I'm a friend of Christy's (Keith, I don't know if you remember me?!). Anyway I just want you to know that I'm thinking about you and praying you get new lungs. In the mean time, I work at Invacare and if you need any of the respiratory products we sell I will do whatever I can for you. See for the stuff we have available. Keep your spirits up as much as you can, the world works in mystrious ways xo. Cathy Schultz

  27. Hi Sarah
    I came on to wish you a Happy Birthday this week and found this news, so sorry that you guys have this battle in front of you and hope and pray that you can overcome. Just last week CBC had a doc on a sucessful double lung transplant and the two families met over the internet and became good friends, I believe it was in Barrie. I know what you want for your birthday and we we all wish for it for you, good luck.... Charles Barrie

  28. Hi Sarah,

    So sorry to read this news. There is nobody better to be at Keith's side. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. Call me anytime you are downtown. Big hugs. - Tammy Oram

  29. Hi Sarah,

    I had my dbl lung transplant at TGH April 22 2011. I had to relocate to Toronto from Nova Scotia. I waited 11 months for my Gift of Life. I am so sorry you are having a hard time for TGH team to get back to you. What disease does Keith have? Is he in hospital now at TGH? You have the best hospital to look after Keith. Here's hoping they contact you soon.

  30. SARAH...
    My name is Elayne Slimak and I am a friend of Cathy's.
    Unfortunately I am not able to help with a contact in Toronto but my good friend's son was operated last year in Barcelona with a double lung transplant. The outcome has been a miracle and life is good again. If you would like to contact him, i would be happy to give you his mail....
    Good luck to you all!!!
    Elayne Kostman Slimak