December 24, 2013

All I want for Christmas

Dear Santa,

I know I'm writing a little late, and perhaps I'm a little old, but the bell still rings for me and so I  write to ask you to bring me all that my heart desires this Christmas. 

Now, please don't see me as greedy or selfish.  I know my own gift has been bestowed upon me already.  A fortnight ago, at this moment, I was being given the gift of renewed life, thanks to the unblinking generosity of a donor and his family.  I have a lot of fight left in me.  I have dreams and ambitions and now another chance to make them happen.  And I will do them all for my donor as much as myself.

Maybe future Christmases would bring race wins, triathlon finishes, Tony awards, tenure positions -- but keep it all, Santa.  Keep it all and in exchange, just this one Christmas, please bring the one and only thing I want - all my heart desires - the one spindle upon which spin the platters of a dozen songs:  please bring Piper Beatty a new pair of lungs.

It kills me that I got the gift of life first, though she needs it more.  I've seen her Santa, her struggles and her pain and I know - as you must also - that there isn't enough time left to make this wish twice.

So bring on your best magic, sir.  Bring your scalpels and sutures and surgeons and nurses.  Bring your staples and chest tubes and IVs and gowns.  Bring FEES and bronchs and manometry and fundoplication, too, if you must.  But please, PLEASE, bring lungs for Piper!

Your obedient servant,
Cris Dopher
Duke lung transplantee #1400

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