Whitesburg KY
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Organ donations save lives daily

Hello, everyone. I hope this finds each of you doing well. Can you believe the weather we are having? One minute I think we skipped fall and jumped straight into winter with the sleet/rain mix, snow flurries, and frost. Then the next day it is warm enough that you could walk around in shorts. I’m not complaining though, I am just thankful to be done with summer.

Sorry I haven‘ t had a chance to write the past couple of weeks. We have had a lot going on. My little one, Dalton, was sick for over a week, but thankfully he is back to being his wild little self now. The poor guy was so pitiful. He ran a fever and had a headache for a solid week. Once the fever and headache were gone, he was coughing and just not feeling well for several more days.

We were at MCHC just about all day for two days straight and were in the emergency room all night too. It seemed as if they tested him for everything coming and going, and it all came back negative. They couldn’t find the root of the problem.

Finally he was given two antibiotic shots and was on antibiotics at home three times a day for 10 days. Whatever it was, it is gone now. Thank God!

After a year and three months on the transplant list, Mom, Sylvania Whitaker, received a call from the transplant center at the University of Kentucky around 1 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, informing her of a possible kidney match. She and Dad reached the hospital a few minutes after 4 a.m. We were hopeful that all the bloodwork would match and she would be able to receive the kidney. This would be the answer to our prayers. Mom, Dad, Opal, Missy, and I spent hours there at the hospital praying everything would go smoothly. We contacted everyone we know to ask for prayers. Blair Branch

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out and we are pretty devastated. All the bloodwork that needed to match, matched up perfectly, but the kidney was small and didn’t function as well as the doctor would have liked it to. As a result, she was unable to have the transplant. The trip home was bittersweet.

We were beyond grateful to the donor for the attempt. We felt sorrowful for the donor family’s loss and prayed for God to grant them ease during this time of heartache. Also, we were thankful that we found out the kidney wasn’t functioning properly before Mom actually had the surgery. Yet, we were still heartbroken over the outcome.

Even though it wasn’t the ending our family was hoping for, we know that faith in God includes faith in His timing. It wasn’t His will for Mom to receive the kidney.

Several individuals were given gifts of life that night and we are hopeful that Mom will receive another call soon. We do not pray for someone to pass away so that Mom can have a kidney. We pray that if it is someone’s time to go, and they or their family have already made the decision to donate, that their donation would be a match for Mom.

If you are not familiar with organ donation, I ask you from the bottom of my heart to please familiarize yourself with it. Everyday in the U.S. 18 people die senseless and needless deaths while waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Right now there are 110,541 people hoping, praying, and waiting. That number is not limited to adults. One thousand, seven hundred and eighty-five of those waiting are pediatric patients. Think about it. Today 18 people will die, tomorrow 18 people will die.

Please register to donate your organs! I have. Our whole family has. You can register online at http:// donatelife.net/. Simply go to the bottom of the page, hit the blue register now button, and choose your state. It will bring up the very simple form. It is that easy.

If you don’t have access to the Internet, put it in writing, talk to your family, and sign the back of your driver’s license. Just make sure someone knows your wishes. One organ donor can save the lives of eight people. A tissue donor can help more than 50 people. Take a moment and at least think about it. Be an angel! Donate.

Thursday, Sept. 29, Mom had an appointment in Pikeville to see if the leaky valve in her heart was worse. We were relieved to get good news. The valve wasn’t any worse and the extra leaking was due to her blood pressure being up. Medication can keep the blood pressure and leaking under control.

Mom had been smothering for couple of weeks, saw her doctor, and was told it was probably allergies mixed whatever it is that has been going around. She was given antibiotics to take at home, yet she began to smother worse. Sunday, Oct. 2, was horrible. She smothered real bad all day and planned to go back to her doctor the next day after she returned from dialysis.

However, the smothering progressed to the point that Dad had to call 911. The moment I saw Mom, I panicked. I knew that if the ambulance didn’t get to us quickly that she wouldn’t make it. Thank God they managed to get to her just in time.

Her SpO2 (oxygen saturation) level had dropped to 29 and on the way to the hospital became unresponsive. They suctioned her, gave her oxygen, and by the time she arrived at Whitesburg ARH, her SpO2 was higher. The ER doctor said she needed dialysis so she was transported to Hazard ARH and admitted to ICU.

She has seen several doctors and we haven’t received a solid explanation yet. We have been told it was congestive heart failure, that she just wasn’t having enough fluid removed during dialysis, and that it was a mixture of fluid and pneumonia. She is doing some better now and is hoping to come home soon. Continue to pray for her health as she has a lot going on right now.

Roger Whitaker is at Pikeville Medical Center again. He has been there for a few weeks. The infection he had in his blood and bones not long ago is back again. He has been in an extreme amount of pain. They were scared that the infection was in his brain as well because he had been confused at times. They did an MRI, and thankfully that wasn’t the case. It was a result of the toxins that had built up due to them being unable to do dialysis on him.

Last I heard, he needed weeks more of IV antibiotics and they were putting in a new temporary shunt so that they could do dialysis. Debbie has been with him night and day. I hope Rod is doing better and able to come home soon. I also hope Deb is getting some rest and not wearing herself down too much.

Billy Gene Blair was admitted to Whitesburg ARH on Oct. 30. His wife Olivia said he wasn’t able to eat or drink, was dehydrated, and covered in hives. He spent several days in the hospital and had a scope run to see what was causing his problems as he had lost 15 pounds in a week. He is home now and doing a little better but still on a liquid diet.

He was diagnosed with chronic gastritis and esophagitis as well as a hernia. Even though he is real sick himself, Bill went to visit with Mom today. It made her day. She has been worried about him.

Pinkie Adams was in the hospital again recently. This time because of fluid in her lungs. I haven’t heard how she is doing. Keep her in your prayers as well.

Gardner Allen Jent’s wife Jessica was having chest pains recently. Opal babysat so that Allen could take Jess to the doctor. They said she has pleurisy and a spot that looked like pneumonia or bronchitis. I pray she is back to normal soon. Opal said Allen is sick too and the kids have been sneezing. Something sure is going around.

Mom and Dad, Allen and Sylvania Whitaker, celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on Oct. 8. Happy anniversary to the best parents on earth! I love you both.

Brittany Blair, Charles E. Blair, Johnny Roy Whitaker Jr. (a.k.a. Junie), and Missy Fields all celebrated their birthday on Sept. 28.

Lovell Blair celebrated his birthday Oct. 11; Jocelyn Adams- Watts, Oct. 12; Dewayne Blair, Oct. 13; Georgia Ogle and Roger Whitaker, Oct. 15; Justin Collins, Oct. 16; and James Curtis Smith, Oct. 18.

Happy birthday to each of you. I hope your day is filled with all the love and laughter in the world. If I have left anyone or anything out, just let me know and I will be glad you get you next time.

I hope everyone has a healthy and happy week. If you would like to contact me, feel free to give me a call or you may email me at: alanacouch@hotmail.com.

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