UPDATE: Natalie's cousin, Bill, during surgery - Part 2
Bill Coon, day of heart surgery
by Natalie Sparacio
CHICAGO (WAOW) -- It's been an incredible 24 hours. Wednesday morning at 7, we received the news we've all been waiting for. Doctors found a match for my 20 year old cousin, Bill. He was in surgery for 12 hours yesterday, and received his heart transplant. It was so amazing when the doctors told us the heart was beating on its own. Due to the bleeding though, doctors had to hold off on doing the kidney transplant until today. They are going to take Bill down for surgery between 7:30-8 a.m. The second part of the surgery is expected to take about 3 hours.
My family and I stayed overnight in the waiting room. I feel so lucky to be able to share in this special time with my family. It's very stressful, but such a blessing. At the same time, as we rejoice about Bill's second chance at life, we mourn the loss of the donor. This experience has shown me the importance of being an organ donor, and how many lives a person is able to touch if they choose to donate.
I'll do another live report from the waiting room tomorrow morning at 6 on Wake Up.
Thank you so much for the emails, thoughts, and prayers. I don't know how I would have handled this ordeal without my family in Northcentral Wisconsin.