Are you in?
It was 1:41 in the middle of the night. And we were coming to clinic that morning, so the alarm was set to drive up here for a doctor’s appointment. And I’m one of those people, when the phone rings and I’m asleep, I’m kind of incoherent, I don’t really know what they’re saying, but I’m trying to pretend everything’s fine…And I was sure it was the police, and that somehow my other daughter (who was asleep in bed!) maybe she’d gotten in trouble, or something bad had happened…it took me a long time to realize it was our doctor on the phone! So I just kept saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!” on the phone, and then got off the phone and cried!
And then we had to wait. And thank goodness I knew that from watching Boston Med! Don’t go wake up Eva yet, because they might call back and say it’s a no. So he said they’d call back in an hour. I think it was only 45 minutes, and they said, “This looks like a really good fit. We’re going to accept it. Are you in?” And we said, “Yeah. Okay.” And then we went and woke up the kids.
And it was weird, because it was like, well, do we call people at 2 in the morning? Then we decided not to. We started driving up here at like 4 in the morning, maybe it was 3:30, and that’s when we started calling some family and telling them.
Mother of Eva, 13
We felt very connected
We would get up and walk around, and we laughed – at one point my sister and I had gone down to Au Bon Pain and we came back to the elevators and there was a workman and he had one of those little igloo coolers and he was tossing it, like this, and we just got fits of giggles. We knew that was not the heart in that igloo, but we were like, “Can you imagine? How do they carry that?” [laughs] There were moments like that, too, where just to sort of relieve some of the stress, you just laugh about the goofy things.
Mother of Eva, 13
Why is she upset?
My husband couldn’t understand why Alanna was so upset when the heart came, and I said, “Hon, we’re excited because we know this might be the end finally, where to her, she’s going to be cut open, and she’s the one that’s going to lay on that table, and she knows it.” And she might have only been eight, but she knew what was going to happen!
[Later] The only bad thing I thought about it was it took so long for the heart to get there. I swear, it had 15 minutes left – I think it’s 6 hours it can be out of the body, and it got there in 5 hours and 45 minutes. And that’s scary! So they told us at 5:30 in the morning, and she didn’t go in to surgery until I think it was like 6:30 at night. She was so anxious, they had to give her I want to say some kind of Valium just to keep her calm. That’s when my husband couldn’t understand why she wasn’t, like, jumping up and down on the bed and ecstatic about, “My heart’s here!” We were – we were calling everybody!
Mother of Alanna, 15