UPDATE: Natalie's cousin, Bill, during surgery - Part I
Bill Coon, day of heart surgery
*The following information is a letter written by Natalie's Aunt Ann. It is the latest update on Bill Coon, Natalie's cousin, who has been waiting for a heart and kidney for the past 4 months. Bill received a heart transplant as a baby. When he was 20, his body began rejecting the heart. Bill has been on and off a donor waiting list since July, 2009.
Our Dear Family and Friends, I am writing you this from Northwestern's 7th. Surgical ICU Waiting Room - the room we have longed to be in for the last 58 days. Our Bill has a new heart beating in his chest, the doctor said, "it's a great heart" - such beautiful words. Bill is doing as good as could be expected, but due to bleeding concerns, his kidney will not be transplanted until tomorrow morning. Though I would like to have the surgeries behind us, I am thankful for the cautious surgeons in waiting til just the right time for Bill.
Today has been an amazing day for us as a family. We have prayed for this day for what feels like an eternity. The times and the struggles that our Bill has endured, are truly inconceivable to most. When I think of Bill's will to live, I am in awe. Just yesterday as Bill was enduring excruciating pain and weakness, I pleaded with him to remember the life he has loved, to remember his times, his hopes, and his dreams and to hold on to fight for his life. This morning, as Bill was being prepared for surgery, he was not only composed beyond imagination, but he was filled with a sense of life that filled us with a confidence that all will be well. This morning, as we bid our farewells, I knew in my heart that not only was Bill deserving of such a gift, but that he would most certainly live each and every minute of his life paying tribute to the blessed individual that has bestowed upon him this new chance at life. This morning it was clear to see that Bill was more than ready to live the rest of his life not only for his first donor, but also his new hero. This morning, I could not have been more proud of our son and the genuine person he is.
It is my hope and prayer that the challenges that lie ahead of us are met and conquered one at a time. I fanatasize about Bill being able to thank you all for your unyielding support. I fantasize about having our family reunited and living under one roof. I fantasize about waking up in the morning and not wondering if today is the day. I fantasize about learning again how to live with joy and not with fear. I fantasize about spending the rest of my time thanking all of you who have touched our lives so very deeply.
We are far from out of the woods, there are many hurdles to jump, so stay with us please......we feel your faith, your love, and your belief in life. God bless you all, God bless our unknown hero, God bless our surgeons, and God bless our Bill.