How is this even possible? Three words.
On January 17th, Keith was brought to TGH, on a ventilator, unable to speak, his body ready to give up.
Years of deterioration and infection had rendered his lungs completely unable to power his body anymore. Keith had the will to continue, but his body was not cooperating.
For 12 days, Keith was in and out of coherent thoughts. Days went by when he was merely a shell, with a machine that breathed in and out for him, his mind addled by medications and his body fighting to keep him here.
When I was with him, I was strong. When I spoke to family and friends, I was strong. The nurses, media, and strangers couldn't believe how I remained calm, dignified, and even smiled and laughed when I was with him. How did I do it?
A few weeks before Keith was admitted, an old school friend told me she wanted to give me something. A talisman. I admit, I figured I was going to get some smooth rock carving made by an inuit. I had no idea. Two days after he was brought in, she brought by my present. It was a simple silver chain, with three charms on it.
I'm a pretty simple girl when it comes to jewellery. I've worn the same gold chain for the past 13 years. I took it off, and put this on. I touched each talisman and said the words to myself, and then out loud. This is what would get me through.
First - Faith. Faith in God, faith in people, faith in our doctors. I had to have it, otherwise there was no...
Hope. Hope that the call would come, that Keith would hold on, that life would continue so that
Love could continue. My mantra continued throughout each day. It charged me. It propelled me to continue to move forward. Faith. Hope. Love.
On January 29th, Keith received the gift of life in the form of a pair of gorgeous (I have on good authority) lungs. A simple decision that was supported by a family. There was Hope. My Faith continued to give me strength. My Love for humanity grew.
|February 7, 2013|
Keith is now in a room down on the 7th floor, less supervision, fewer bells and whistles connected to his body. No oxygen during the day, (possibly at night). Two chest tubes still in and his bad sense of humour firmly intact.
Now our hospital days are spent doing more walking, follow up doctor appointments, x-rays, more follow ups with doctors, getting some much needed rest (it's a much quieter floor than the 10th!) and healing.
Every day is a gift. Every moment is precious. And yesterday, Keith finally asked me about some timelines. He wanted to know why I was saying that he had been in the hospital for three weeks. I had to tell him that he had been here for 12 days, in and out of consciousness, and that I had been by his side for the entire time. He looked at me, puzzled, and began to weep. "How did you stay sane?", he asked. I pointed at my necklace. "Faith. Hope. Love. There was no other option for me, I have you back now.
Eternal gratitude to the donor.