Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Video Conference

I met my surgeon today over a video conference at the Queensway Carleton Hospital. Really really really nice guy. He explained everything to me again... all the risks. However, this time (unlike the last time), it was reassuring to hear everything he was saying. I guess it was because I was talking to my actual surgeon. He has reviewed my X-Rays many times and knows already exactly what he’s going to do – what portion he’s giving dad, what vessels he’s leaving on my liver... everything.

Near the end of the convo, he offered me the opportunity to back out of the surgery if I wanted. He said he’d help me find a legitamite medical reason not to do it. Although I was somewhat tempted to take his offer, I replied, “You know, hearing all the risks is scary. But ultimately, I’m willing to take those risks for dad. Also, I’m putting a lot of faith in your program. The fact that you’ve approved me as a donor is a compliment to my health. And I know you wouldn’t put me in danger if you didn’t have the utmost confidence that I’d be ok and my dad would have a great chance of living.”

He replied, “Those are all true statements. We are very mature program and you are in very capable hands.”

It was soo awesome to hear my surgeon say things like, “its all going to be fine – it’ll be over before you know it”. I think the majority of people in the program avoid that tone in order to maintain an unpersuasive atmosphere – they really want to make sure that I’m not being pressured into making this decision.

Right before he signed off, I jumped in, ‘Oh – one last question that I’m sure you and you’re video conferencing technician will think is just ridiculous. What are the chances that a photo can be taken during the procedure?’

Now, I know some of you reading this are thinking, “What – you want a photo of what?” If you know me, you know why. It’s just a Josh thing to ask.
His reply – “Well, because we’re a teaching hospital, our program often takes photos of procedures for use in teaching material. We definitely have the capability to do that. Here’s what I’ll do - remind me on Monday... I’ll open you up and take a photo of your liver as it is. I’ll continue with the procedure, separate your liver and prep it for transplant. I’ll see the two pieces of your liver in position and take another picture. I’ll prep the remaining half of your liver and take a photo of that. Then, I’ll ask the other surgeon to get a photo of your dad’s liver. Then, I’ll have them take a picture of your dad with your liver in him.”

The entire time, I’m freaking out – this is amazing. But when he said that final comment, “I’ll have them take a picture of your dad with your liver in him”, I nearly started to cry. A picture of that piece of me that will save my dad.

I can’t believe this is happening.


Looks like dad’s admission to the Toronto General has been bumped up to Wednesday, not Sunday. Also, he will be air-ambulanced to Toronto because of his condition and the weather.

1 comment:

The Bortots said...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!! The picture taking is beyond amazing! So glad you will have those to look back on! I teared up a little too when they said "your dad with your liver in him"...it will all work we know it!

Love you guys...and we understand the want for picture-taking, its a Jeremy thing too :)

Love the Bortots