Macy's Story shared by Macy's Mom, Karen
Dec 2, 2008. St. Louis, Missouri......
What is that noise? Where is it coming from? As I looked through the store to see if anyone was answering their phone I realized the sound was coming from me. The pager in my purse was chirping. I looked down and scanned my phone, but there were no missed calls. Huh? The sound came again. The chirping brought attention from a few of the other shoppers in the Gap store I stood in. Their looks said it all, "A pager? Really? I didn't think anyone still had one
As I pressed the button to light up the phone number on the pager, the hairs on my neck stood up. The hospital. St. Louis Children's Hospital. I got very tense. At that moment, a one-year old Mia was cradled in my arms staring at me, her head angled as if she felt the change in my mood. It was time. I looked down as tears welled up in my eyes, my body stiff and shaking at the same time. I quickly typed in the number, pressed my phone to my ear and scanned the store for my mom, Ann, as the phone rang on the other end of the line. As I made eye contact with my mom, with Macy standing next to her, my mom noticed the pager in my hand and her face changed, softened. My mom knew and as if on cue, Macy watched her change and she knew. They didn't come toward me
but watched and waited, both knowing that the four month wait might be over. I remember what the hospital physiatrist said to me: "Children will always
follow the lead of their parents." As I talked to the transplant coordinator I could feel the heat rise up through my torso and finally across my face and into my hairline. It was time. Macy's new heart was on its way.
Macy was supposed to be at the hospital within the hour. With my mind on fire with a 1,000 different thoughts, the one that kept recirculating was of the donor family and their loss. I wanted to burst into uncontrollable tears but I had to save that for one of my runs through Forest Park where everyone could wonder if I was sweating or crying. For now I had to get Macy to the hospital and I knew that if I let the reality of that sink in she would not be brave and her mom would
be crying and she would not be okay. I thought of what to say to Macy, what to take to the hospital...
Jordan... I have got to call Jordan... no problem he will answer his phone in Omaha no problem, he can catch the last Southwest flight out of Omaha (I had the schedule memorized after being in St. Louis for 4 months). I will call him when I get to the van.
Do I have time to sneak Macy a couple bites of an Auntie Anne's pretzel, her life blood during our stay, before we go to the hospital? As I looked into Macy's
10-year old eyes, I told her that her new heart was on its way and we needed to be at the hospital soon and without blinking all she asked was, "will I be
home for Christmas?" Her eyes were terrified, but she didn't take my lead, she lead as leaders do: with a brave smile and small head nod....
While there are pages and pages of memories and stories to tell, Macy is with us, thriving, because Louis and Debra King said "yes" to donate their 11-year old sons', Cameron, heart so that Macy could have a second chance at "normal". His heart was a perfect match.
Oh yeah, and Macy was home for Christmas.
In November of 2013 we met the parents of Macy's donor family. It would have been Cameron's 16th birthday. The noble way in which they embraced Macy and us verified to me that they are some of the bravest people I've ever encountered. At their time of loss and sorrow, they chose to pay it forward to Macy and six other people. A clip of the story is available here. With every run I think about them.
And, yes, I cry with every run, their love in my heart. But don't guess when you see me finish the 5K this April 19th. Just know that my sweat is tears. Tears of possibility. Tears of joy. Tears of second chances. Tears of thanks.
Please join us at the 3rd Annual Donate Life Nebraska 5K & Heroes' Walk at Aksarben Village on April 19, 2014.