Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Heart of Three Men

A year ago at this time my then-dying friend Jon Marsh received a life-giving donor heart from Roger Knott, a man who had himself just received a donor heart. This older gentleman died from unrelated complications after carrying the donor heart only one month after receiving it from Mark Girard, Jr., a younger man who died in an assault. This one-heart-in-three-people arrangement has previously happened only ten other times in the history of heart transplantation. I visited with Jon a short few weeks before his transplant and an account of that visit may be viewed HERE. Below is a short piece on this amazing story and below that is a poem Jon published today about his experience around the time of these events one year ago.

It was just another day in the hospital.
More tears, more heartache....loss....defeat....depression.
I began the process of making my peace with God.
I tearfully cried for God to close my eyes.... so I could be with him.
The pain was certainly a factor....but my spirit was broken, beaten....down.
No longer could my dying heart hang on.
So I started to thank tearfully everything Jesus was to me....
that he stuck closer than a brother.... a dear friend and my Lord.
How God spoke to me in my darkest hour.
When the storms of heart failure were killing anything that was still left....
....MUSIC no longer gave me joy.
My smile shattered by waves of loss....defeated....broken....searching for peace.
Finding solace in the darkest place....the coldest day.
The longest day becoming a nightmare.... death was all around my bed.
Death was welcome so that I might live again.... I could stand before my God and hear the words....
...."Well done good and faithful servant."
I perceived I had fought the good fight and finished the race.
I prepared my wife....I informed her I really felt and believed that I DID NOT have much longer....
....and I need to start saying goodbyes.
I wept bitterly as I GOT OFF THE PHONE with my wife.
I thought of my son....his smile....his life....I was his daddy.... wife....but Lord she needs a husband!!!!!
God reminded me that he Is our daddy and we are his children.
The night progressed and on January 31, 2015....God was not finished with me.
Shortly after speaking with Laura....Dr. Pretorious came into my room....In street clothes no less....
He was coming to tell me I had another blood clot and I was not much longer for this world....
thank you Jesus I was wrong......PRETORIOUS spoke the words to me....
....its a high risk heart....but it's a strong heart.
I called my wife and shared the news.
We stayed up all night with thankfulness and prayers we were together as a family.
The road has been a long one.... to always remember.
And when you are broken, lost and defeated....
God sends all the right people....sending his Angels, his prayer warriors.
And the example of JESUS.... who shed his blood and suffered for me....
....that I may one day have eternal life....and life more abundantly.

~ by Jon Alston Marsh

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