Ch 2 of 5: “This Is The Day That I Die” – Part 3
We just wrapped up dinner and my wife & I looked at each other and our eyes locked, both knowing what each other was thinking...
"Should we do it? Should we tell them?"
I had the idea of bringing the kit the transplant center sent me and putting a bow on it — this would be our gift to them on our birthday.
Her uncle at this point has been staying with her mom because he’d become so I’ll and was placed on an “expedite list” just in case a deceased donor became available (he was only 97 pounds at this point).
It’s another reason I knew we had to tell them — we’d both be recovering in the same house — it would be a little hard to hide it at that point, .
Bryanna ran out to the truck to grab the bag.
I was SO nervous — my heart was racing.
We all sat down at the dinner table for dessert because they were gonna sing happy birthday to Chris (Bryanna’s brother), Bryanna, and myself.
After the singing and gifts — we said, well, “we have an announcement”.
Bryanna’s mom was the first one to say, “YOU’RE PREGNANT!!”
I laughed, “NO,,, NOOOOO! ”
We said, “we actually have a gift for Chuy (Bryanna’s uncles name, it’s the nickname given to someone named, Jesus).”
Everyone was at the edge of their seat...
He opened it, removed the bow and stared puzzled at this little white box with green lettering which said, “University Transplant Center”.
Then he and Bryanna’s mom looked at me as if to ask, “why do YOU have this?”
Then I said choked up and barely holding my emotions back,
"that's actually MINE – I'm your anonymous liver donor."
UGH, probably one of the hardest moments of my life.
I’m sure you can image what an emotional moment it was. It was the first time I saw Bryanna’s mother (and father) breakdown into tears.
Ah, what a night.
We left the weekend on a high.
Next on the list of to-do’s was to tell: my parents, brother & sisters, and then all our beloved students of Hardstyle (our gym).
What an emotional roller coaster of a week this would be — not to mention I still had one more test pending on Monday (20 October 2918).
This would determine if I needed a liver biopsy before the surgery to be 100% certain.
But my life and mindset would be turned upside down after our drive home Sunday night.
19 October 2018
There was a missed call from Claudia at the transplant center.
I clicked the red missed call number and called her back right away. After being met with her gentle voice the shocking news followed...
“Hi Mr. Gutierrez, I’m sorry to bother you on a Sunday but — I wanted to let you know, we had a deceased donor become available, so the Living Liver Donor surgery we had scheduled for this Tuesday (23 October — my birthday) is no longer gonna happen.
We’d like to know if you’d want to move up your surgery from Wednesday (31 October) to the 23rd?”
My heart skipped a beat — followed by a strange tingle — kinda like when you’re caught red handed in a lie.
Yeah, that feeling.
Here’s something I forgot to mention.
After sitting with the surgeon the week before and agreeing on the surgery date of Halloween...
During the drive home, I had this weird and dark feeling — almost a knowing that...
"... This is it, this is the day that I die."
My time was up!
Ugh, it was an awful feeling — It was a feeling of certainty because after all, death was a possibility.
So when Claudia called me and asked if I wanted to move up my surgery from the 31st to the 23rd...
... it’s as if my death sentence was being cut short.
I mean how dark and eerie is that — to die on the same day as your birth?!
I didn’t know what to say the only thing that came out of my lips was — I need to talk to my wife.
As soon as we hung up — I look at Bryanna and said, I don’t want to do it, I can’t.
I have to plan this week, I have to tell my parents, and what about out students at Hardstyle?
I knew what I had to do but first...
The next day, I had to submit another blood draw here in CC to see if I’d need a liver biopsy before the surgery.
I got a second call from Claudia and she was elated because her and the surgeons couldn’t believe their eyes!
They insisted the lab in Corpus sent the wrong results — NOPE — they were all mine baby.
My numbers WERE PERFECT!
Cholesterol was cut in half, liver enzymes were shinning, and a myriad of other numbers were off the charts.
“Mr. Gutierrez this is AMAZING, what did you do, how did you do this in only 5 days?!”
My answer was met with surprise.
(if you want to know what I did and how I did it — another post for another day, perhaps)
For now — we’re in business — this is REALLY happening!