UPDATE: Natalie's cousin, Bill, after surgery - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Natalie's cousin, Bill, after surgery


**The following information is written by Ann Coon, Natalie's Aunt. Ann is the mother of Bill Coon, who has been waiting for a heart and kidney transplant for the last 4 months. Just this week, Bill received news that doctors had matching organs for him. Bill was rushed into surgery and doctors successfully transplanted both organs. This is the latest letter that Bill's mother, Ann, penned.

My dear friends and family,
Tonight I write you from our Bill's bedside. In the last 24 hours, his body has graciously accepted a new heart and kidney from an unknown, yet loving hero. Tonight Bill and I sit in awe that our Bill has his chance at a new beginning, a chance to embrace the normalcy he has so longed for and fought for. Tonight, we are truly overwhelmed with gratitude for not only this amazing gift of life, but also the love and kindness that has been given to us so graciously.

This morning, when Bill and I came in to see Bill for the first time, I have to admit I was scared. Scared, because I didn't know how I would handle seeing my baby (my 20 year old baby) attached to a ventilator with tubes coming out of every imaginable spot of his body. I never thought that I would ever be afraid, to touch one of my kids, but this morning the apprehension was there. As I approached Bill's room, I felt my heart beating fast and was filled with such anxiety, than I looked and there he was......beaten up, but alive. Just as Little Bill's mere presence has always brought me strength, the site of him this morning brought me comfort and  the faith that he is the incredible fighter I have always known him to be. Though it was overwhelming and immensely painful to see him attached to so much equipment, I felt such a sense of gratitude. Gratitude to our blessed donors, gratitude to our surgeons, gratitude to our ICU nurses for nurturing Bill in my absence, and gratitude to God for keeping us together until the right match was found.

Much to my surprise, Bill awakened while still on the ventilator - not something one likes to see, as it causes tremendous agitation and discomfort for the patient, but the doctors wanted to make certain that Bill still had all of his neurological capacities, which thank God he did! Just as I was filled with gratitude, so was our Bill. Just 5 hours after receiving a new heart, he requested a paper and pen, as he was filled with a list of questions. First and foremost, "how did it go?" He was disappointed to learn that he still had to undergo his kidney transplant, not because he dreaded another surgery, but because he wanted desperately to begin his journey back to life! He truly wanted to get on with the business of living and feeling life. Than, something very incredible happened....as Bill's doctors and nurses from the last 59 days began entering our room to check up on him, Bill began writing them a personal thank you! I completely lost it, when Bill wrote to his favorite Dr. Gordon, "thank you for everything you did for me". That's our Bill, always appreciating everything and anything that is done for him, which is exactly why Bill has lived each and every day to its fullest, as it has been his way of forever thanking his donor. Today, Bill opened a new chapter of gratitude, a chain of thank yous and appreciation to not only his caretakers, but a burning desire to begin his life of paying homage to his donor. Today, our Bill was able to take charge of his life and his intentions, for the first time since June 8th, 2009, today our Bill began his journey back to life.....

Tonight, we are still on a ventilator, we are still waiting for his kidney to kick in, and he is loaded with tubes and catheters, but he is alive, he received his chance and it is not possible to be more grateful than we are. Tonight for the first time in a very long time, Bill and I sit at our son's bedside and speak of the future - God it feels good to think about tomorrow, it feels so good to watch our son come back to life as opposed to watching him deteriorate with each passing day.Tonight, life goes on.........

Thank you all for your outpouring of support and faith, for genuinely sharing in our joy, for rallying around us in our time of need and for most of all truly sharing in the gift of life with us.
We thank God for the gift of your kindness, we thank God for our donor, and we thank God for bringing us to today.

Most lovingly and appreciatively,

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