Monday, March 30, 2009

The doctor feeling............

This past weekend, I was involved in three organ cases back to back. In one particular case I was getting the life sucked out of me by a family.
To make a VERY long story short, I was helping a family of a 16 year old who was tragically taken from them. This family was very interested in donation. It was my job to support them through the donation process. The patient was not brain dead, so this makes donation a bit more tricky, but doable. The patient's heart has to stop within 60 minutes for them to be able to donate the kidneys and the liver. We have a "tool" to acess the patient to see the likelyhood of them passing in the 60 minutes. This patient had less than 20% chance of passing, BUT the family wanted to try, so we proceeded with donation. When it was time to say goodbye to the patient, this family became very emotional ( as to be expected ) , as they anticipated this would be the last time they would see her until @ the funeral home. I escorted them to the family waiting room ( this was a VERY large family. If I had to guess I would say there were about 50 people there to support them ). I then went to the room where we would monitor the patient to see if she would pass. It was unfortunate the patient did not pass in the 60 minutes.

It was up to me to go back to this family and to tell them. As I was walking the halls to get back to the family room, I took off my surgical cap, and thought to myself...... THIS IS HOW DOCTORS FEEL..... I had a pit in the bottom of my stomach, my hands were shaking, and my heart was beating 100 times a minute. I turned the corner and boom, there was the family..... I broke the news to them as gently as I could, knowing that their one desire left of their family member, did not happen. Through the many tears and questions, I made it. But I now have even more utmost respect for the doctors when they are having to have those tough conversations with the families.
To all my doctor friends out there, Happy Doctor Day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Saving A Life.....

I am blessed to have a job where I know I am making a difference every time a family agrees to organ donation. I will be the first to say that it is not easy to always get the families at this point, but when you do GREAT things happen. It was an honor to see that the unfortunate death of Natasha Richardson resulted in her family graciously donating her organs.

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Natasha Richardson

Natasha Richardson's Organs Donated After Her Death
As the loved ones of Natasha Richardson continue to mourn, a family decision made in the wake of the Tony-winning actress's sudden death March 18 has brought a measure of comfort: After Richardson was taken off life support at Manhattan's Lenox Hill Hospital, her family requested that her organs be donated to other patients whose lives they might save.

Organ donation "is very Natasha," a family friend says in the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday. "She spent so much time fighting the stigma of AIDS; someone like that would naturally donate her organs. At least by donating her organs something good could come out of [the tragedy]."

Richardson, 45, died after falling during a ski lesson at a Canadian resort on March 16. An autopsy performed in New York City showed that a blow to her head had caused a fatal epidural hematoma, bleeding between her brain and her skull.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Aspen final update

It's sad to say that another year in Aspen has come to an end. It was a great year for everyone, we all leave with new friends, a few with bruises, and a couple of us leave with a broken arm or leg. Non the less, memories that will last a lifetime. This week was challenging for us as we watched one of the most amazing past Shining Stars get life flighted back to Denver as I had mentioned before. He is holding his own, he will have a long recovery ahead of him, we need to remember him in our prayers. At the beginning of the week, the medical staff was not sure about a few of the kids that had been selected to come. One of them was unfortunately over weight, on 4 liters of oxygen and has a medical disorder in which he gets blood clots easily and they break off and travel thru his body. You can imagine what our fear was.... but we tried to get him involved as much as we could, buy taking him to the top of the mountain, getting him on the dance floor at disco night, and helping him to cross the finish line on race day. He was the Shining Star that had us all in tears the last night as he thanked us for making this week the best of his entire life, and for giving him the chance to do things no one has ever before. Seeing the smile on his face that was constant all week, watching the tears roll down his face as he crossed the finish line......that my friends made this one of the best weeks of my life as well. I am working on getting the pictures all scanned in and creating a video to post, but for now I will post a few pictures from the week.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ASPEN update number 2!

Well friends,
HAPPY St. Patty's day! We are all decked out in green here in Aspen and enjoying every minute of it, today we got to go snowmobiling through the wonderful mountains. I have to say that I am really hoping these kids go to bed soon, so I can get some good rest tonight.
The trip has been great thus far, we did have a really bad accident with one of our kids. He hit a bad spot on the half pipe and landed on his head, he was life flighted back to Denver for the best care that he can get. The update this morning is not good for this young man. There were lots of kids here that saw the accident and are really scared to continue to ski/board the rest of the week. This shining star's name is Matt, all the prayers you can send his way would be greatly appreciated.
I have not been able to get any pictures posted from Aspen on here, but I will try, if not when I am back in Springs for sure.
Good night friends

Saturday, March 14, 2009


This is day one of ASPEN.... Finally.........
Let me just start of by saying not really sure what we ( shining stars) was thinking of having 50+ kids and adults on a charter bus going up to Aspen on Friday the 13th. About two hours into the trip, the bus decided to blow a tire. We had to wait for 2 hours for the replacement bus to get there. So, what do you do with 50 kids who are already tired of sitting in the bus, and your on I-70? We watched Goonies, Played the telephone game, ate snacks, played name that tune with the drivers microphone, it was quite interesting.
We pulled into Aspen at 7:30, and we were scheduled to be there at 3. It proved to be a long day, BUT the kids are having the time of their lives and and so am I. I will update again when I can...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gotta Have Faith

You know that song, "Gotta Have Faith"? What does that mean to you? I believe I am a person of strong faith, but today I have new meaning for the phrase, "Gotta Have Faith". Before I left for camp, I was asked by a patients family to talk to the siblings about how their brother was doing. This is a patient who was supposed to go to camp with me. He is an amazing 13 year old boy, who at diagnosis in Feb 08 was given a less than 5% chance of survival, but in Jan of 09 was declared Cancer FREE!!! This is the same boy who he and I had lunch with Michael Phelps before Michael left for the olympics. This is the same boy that three weeks ago was hiking a mountain, and jut returned from his Make-A-Wish trip, in Hawaii.
Now unfortunately has his cancer has returned to his brain. He began to have uncontrolable seizures that have placed him on a ventaliator and in a coma. The family has been told the worst, he has permanent brain damage and he will never be the same again IF we get him off the vent.
Of, course this family is crushed, but the HAVE FAITH, and the faith so strong that they believe from a vision God has given the mother, that GOD will heal him and he will continue to live a healthy life, however they have to be patient.
As I was sitting in a room with 3 ( a 9, 15, and 19 year old all brothers ) of his 6 siblings, and we were talking about feelings, and emotions. They all whole heartedly looked at me, and said that they were not worried about their brother dying, that they believed God was going to heal him. But that having the patience was the hardest of all! WOW! First of all, to get teenage boys to talk about their feelings was amazing in itself, but then to hear them say, "You gotta have faith", clearly puts that term in a new perspecitve for me.
As I head to camp without my buddy I encourage you to follow his webpage, I promise you wont be disappointed as his father lays things out so you feel your right there.
Faithfully I can say, You gotta have the faith!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Well thanks to my blogger friends, I now have a cute background.
Today is my day off, and I am busy packing for Cancer Camp. It was a bit interesting to
wake up to a white out snow storm this morning..... now, you cant tell at all. That my friends is Colorado for you.

I will be going to the Phantom of the Opera this Thurs night before heading to camp. Hopefully I will have learned to do the picture thing, so I can post some of them.

Monday, March 9, 2009

well well,

So I am trying to get this whole blog thing figured out.... you know making int cute and all.... so bare with me..for now you get boring dots.... any help making this cutsie would be great... and how do I put pic on here???? help blogger friends!!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Well so many people hav said to me, "You should start a blog", and I never really though about it, so I began to ask people why? They would tell me that so many things happen to me and so many of them are interesting/life changing that I should share...... ok, so here you are. I cant guarnatee how long I will be "blogging" but I will when I can. So thanks for following :)