Save the Date! Our friends as Transplant Families are celebrating National Pediatric Transplant Week by hosting three informational webinars for transplant families. Register to attend this event live or to listen to the webinar afterwards. There are 3 webinars--we especially encourage you to tune in to the one on Monday, April 26 on Emotional Considerations for Pediatric Transplant Families with transplant psychologist Dr. Cousino. Fri, Apr 26, 2019 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT register.gotowebinar.com/register/51276146552771... See MoreSee Less
Want to know what it’s like to be on the lung transplant waiting list and get “the call” to learn that a pair of lungs is available? Read Mark Zoziol’s compelling and emotional description of his year-long journey and the questions he asks himself, such as “What did I do to deserve this awful disease? Why was I chosen for a second chance at life?”
Mark writes: “At 12:06 a.m. on Dec. 3, 2015, the much-anticipated phone call came. I knew what the call pertained to as soon as I saw the first digits on the phone’s screen. The caller identified himself as a nurse coordinator from Cleveland Clinic’s Transplant Center and then handed the phone over to the head of pulmonology, Dr. Robert Kotloff. The suspense combined with elation was exhausting!
I had been on the transplant list for almost two and a half months with a lung allocation score of 34.99, which is not considered very high. I have rare B-negative blood and my donor needed the same type. Yet doctors assured me I wouldn’t have to wait too long.”
Your transplant nurse is a vital part of part of the organ donation and transplantation process. Today, in recognition of Transplant Nurses Day, we are sharing some insights and encouragement from Tina White, RN, MSN, FNP-C, the Lung Transplant NP Coordinator for UNC Hospitals. Tina said that she chose this specialty because she finds it rewarding and loves the interdisciplinary teamwork. She is pictured below, right, with transplant nurses Kelly Watson (left) and Renee Bush (middle).
Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a transplant nurse? A: The most rewarding part is seeing people transition from being on death’s doorstep to breathing again, and seeing them get a second chance at life. It’s such a privilege to be a part of each patient’s journey and I have so much to learn from them!
Q: What is the most encouraging aspect of your work as a transplant nurse? A: It’s seeing an individual transformed by their progress. There are some patients that really struggle after transplant and end up very discouraged and frustrated. I love to see them come to pull through and really blossom as time goes on. Seeing that patient six months down the road in clinic, smiling, laughing with family and joking with the docs. Sharing that ‘wow” moment when they really see how far they have come.
Q: Is there a moment or memory that stands out in serving transplant patients? A: I love to remember that time when my coworker and I stayed up late on a Friday night to list a patient whose insurance approval didn’t come in until long after we had gone home for the day. In the wee hours of Saturday morning the match list was run, and that night he had new lungs and a new life.
Q: What’s the most valuable advice you give transplant patients and their caregivers? A: The first year is a rocky ride with lots of ups and downs. Expect the unexpected. Patience, perseverance and a positive attitude go a long way! Putting in the extra time and hard work with your care team at the beginning really translates to more time on the back end. The sky is the limit!
THANK YOU to Tina and all of the amazing transplant nurses! ... See MoreSee Less