Monday, January 17, 2005

Irish Eyes Smiling On Us

Okay - I know it's Jan. 17, not March 17, but it feels like Saint Patrick's Day around here, with Irish eyes smiling on us. Irish-American eyes to be exact.

In the past few days, e-mails have come in from two Irish American lasses who say they read about my quest for a new liver in a publication called Irish American News.

With much joy, I wrote back to both ladies to tell them that I was blessed by the gift of a full liver on Dec. 19 from a deceased donor - a 53-year-old woman from Bronx, N.Y. And I shared with them the happiness of being sprung from the hospital after 23 days to get home to Nancy, Alex, Tasha and Hippie Kitten on Dec. 30, just in time to kick of a wonderful New Year 2005.

Nearly one month after my transplant operation, all 75 of my staple stitches have been removed, I'm wearing shoes again as swelling in the ankles has subsided, meds have been reduced, and everything is on track for full recovery. The porcelain sake cuts which wife Nancy brought back from trips to Japan, now fit the bill perfectly as pill-dispensing cups.

Our first correspondent, also named Nancy, wrote: "I was moved by your story and the photo of your family. I understand the importance of family even more poignantly since losing my mother five years ago. I looked at your family photo and hope your small children will have both of their parents for a long, long time."

Mary Ann, a 40-year-old travel agent from La Grange, Illinois, near the Missouri border, wrote that she has Type O blood - the same type as mine - and offered that "after reading the criteria needed to possibly become a donor, I realized that I may be able to help out." Adding that she's in relatively good health, Mary Ann wrote, "If you're still in need, please feel free to contact me. God bless."

Cliff Carlson, publisher of Irish American News, a monthly said he'll send along to us what he put in his just released January 2005 issue. The Chicago-area newspaper has about 25,000 subscribers and is expanding in the Midwest.

With so many Irish eyes reading our news, it gives us pause to marvel at the ability of the Word to make a change. The Internet, our prayers, our common beliefs and common heritage form a unbroken link around the world that becomes an incredible force for good and is yet another sign that there are more things that bring good-hearted people together than keep them apart.

So, here is a prayer offered up to tender Irish eyes and a God-bless to all the warm-hearted people around the globe that have helped us, offered to help us, or just sent along good wishes to us at this time.

We love you all!


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