October 27 Update from Jim

Hello Friends and Family!


It was a simple request to Sue; ‘Can you bring me down some fresh underwear and a shirt?  I have a pair of jeans already.’  Seeing as I had not needed these items over the last 12 hospital days, it gave Sue a reason to pause.   She sensed I was planning on shedding my fabulous green gown and making a hospital break.  I’m not that clever, but I appreciate that she thinks I’m capable! 


My request was more pure, just getting things together for what should be a discharge home in the next few days.  I don’t know if it will happen this week, but it is very unlikely I will still be recovering in the hospital come next week.  So for all practical purposes, no news from me means they sent me home for Halloween.  Trick or Treat!


So far my transplant recovery has been uneventful, and we are very thankful for that.  Weekly biopsy is the most important data point for me going forward to make sure there are no signs of rejection of the new heart.  Steroids and immune-suppression drugs will be the regiment for me to help ensure my body cooperates.  Adjusting to the meds so far has not been an issue, another good thing.


We still are in awe of the speed with which this transplant opportunity became a reality, and I can’t tell you all enough how grateful we are to the heart donor, their family, the medical staff, and most importantly you family and friends that have prayed for a favorable outcome.   Thank you.


After returning home, my plan is to be a bit out of site for a while to make sure I do not get exposed to any colds/flu/etc as it would really complicate the recovery process.  So as much as I would like to be able to say ‘Come on over for a visit’ I hope you’ll understand that we just can’t do that yet.  The extra precaution will help make those 2011 visits all the more likely.  Probably being a little paranoid, but we’ve come so far!


I will pare back email chain at some point over the next couple of months, but will continue to post updates to our blog https://heartforstretch.wordpress.com/   All of my email updates are posted there and it is a less intrusive way to share info with you.


One last announcement.  A group of college and sailing friends have combined their significant talents to put together a little celebration/benefit in my honor.  It is really a very generous effort on their part, and I want to do my part in promoting it.  Alas, I cannot attend as I had planned, but Sue will be there and she’s a whole lot more interesting than me anyways!  Friday November 5, 6:00 pm, Chicago Yacht Club Belmont Avenue Clubhouse is the date and place.  They will have food and drink as well as some great silent auction items.  Should be a fun party, I really wish I could go too!  More info at www.haveaheartforstretch.com  including auction items, event sponsors, and even some pictures.  I hope you get a chance to attend and thanks to all involved!


Well, time for me to go and make a call home to catch up with the kids.   Wishing you all the best!


Jim “Stretch”



3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brian Siegel on October 27, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Wow!! I just found out about this today. What a story. I’m so glad you’re here, Jim. You’re story is incredible and inspiring!!


  2. Posted by nancy on October 27, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Your news is AWESOME! Let’s remind everyone to sign their organ donor cards!
    Thinking of you alot…BTW, the chest heals pretty quickly…trust me, I know.



  3. Posted by Joe & Laura Dinelli on October 28, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Laura and I are so happy for you. We think and talk about you when we see your updates.
    Good things really do happen to good people and you are proof of that. So heres to you Jim Armstrong “The richest man in town”, it really is a wonderful life.


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