A Year Today

What a year it has been.  So many life and death events affecting our friends and family from all over the world in just a year.  On January 16th I was awake when the call came in from the transplant team.  I was awake as my close friend from Scotland had just emailed me with the sad news that her brother in Thailand had just died in his fifties leaving a young son.  Then the call came in and I had to abandon my contemplations of death - for at least for a few hours!  All of you know how awful the next few hours and days and weeks were.  I do not have to relive them.  But I have to acknowledge that on this day a year ago another family lost their child but gave our son a new chance of life.  We are incredibly grateful but their sorrow must be terrible on this anniversary for them.  

We are so sorry about the death in December of another PH/lung transplant traveler.  Only a little older than Iain, she and her family battled through her health issues with such dignity and fortitude.  It is for children like Katy, Iain, Rayni, Chris and Lucas that, we as a family we will continue to raise awareness of that life threatening disease Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.  We know that there are lots of deadly diseases out there and this week we are honoring the life of a family friend who died last week, He was the father of Iain's close friend Cormac who came to visit him in Saint Louis (where he almost got into a duel over a  handicap spot that Iain needed) and although the family and he had to battle an awful disease they were unwavering in their support of Iain.

So many of you and your families have had your own health challenges and I am humbled by your constancy through Iain's transplant and beyond.  I still go back and read the comments, in small doses at a time.  So although death is always with us, so is hope and life and laughs and things unexpected.  Iain has an awfully cute new cousin, born in Serbia so the cousin group has expanded.  Unexpectedly, my siblings and I have acquired a new aunt and uncle in the UK that we hope to meet someday.  And laughs - thank you to my stalwart friends who have stuck with me through thick and thin and wonder at my sanity. Not to mention, of course, our families - fortunately we have seen them all over Thanksiving and Christmas. Iain on his gap year will be visiting all of you so watch out Los Gatos, Vail, Marathon, Sheperton, Sunderland, Penshaw, Seattle, Belgrade, Falkirk, (India perhaps but am hesistant with a lung transplant patient). John and I this year now only have one child under the age of 18.  Olivia is set on her adventures of computer science and Iain is set to graduate this year.  

So in ten days Iain will have his 12 month check-up.  Fingers crossed everyone.  Iain have fun tonight with the Squad and more....

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So happy for you and all the many who care about you

My family and I are thrilled with how this has turned out and still amazed by your family - how you handled everything and how loved you are by so many. I can't wait to see who Iain grows up to be. 

Iain Hess Appreciation Society (Penshaw & Sunderland Branch)

Dear Mr Hess

It has come to our attention that you might be available to attend the World Annual General Meeting (WGM) of the Iain Hess Appreciation Society (IHAS), which this year wll be held in a public house (pub) in Penshaw adjacent to the UK Headquarters of the IHAS in Cricklewood Drive.

The dress for the occassion is smart but casual and if you are in procession of the world famous "Iain Hess Appreciation Society (Penshaw & Sunderland Branch) t-shirt" it must be worn as they can be easily washed.  I do believe that you might be attending other Society meetings around the world so please ensure that the t-shirt has been washed and pressed.  The security at the WGM of the IHAS has been informed that you might wearing such a valuable item, so they have arranged for "D" Squadron of the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) to be on standby.  This is because it's our Head of Security's (Aunty Win) night off for bingo.  This is just a precaution just in case the crowd of fans gets out of hand.

We have had enquires from The Royal Family who want to attend but sadly we had to turn them down, as Air Traffic Control (ATC) can not allocate them airspace and landing permission can't be given; as we expect the pub carpark will be full.  They did offer an invite to a family wedding they are having this year but we took the liberty and had to turn them down on your behalf, quoting other IHAS committments being held this year.

We would be extremely happy if you could attend to celebrate a very eventful and happy year but if you are unable to attend we hope you will enjoy the other worldwide meetings of the IHAS.

Kind regards

Ian with one i (codename: Cyclops)

President of The Iain Hess Appreciation Society (Penshaw & Sunderland Branch) 

Iain 1 year out

I'm so happy for you all today and to the amazing donor family that has given Iain a new lease on life.  Marina, Lucas and I are so taken aback by all of your strength and grace you've exuded this last year. We had a blast this weekend in Boulder with you all last weekend. I'm so glad he got to show Lucas his stomping grounds.  What an anniversary.  What a kid you have there (oops... young man)!  All the best... Steve

Beautifully said Seema!  So

Beautifully said Seema!  So grateful for the donor family!