Heartbeat #3

by Julia Genkinger
inspired by Courtney Nickel’s mini-lesson

My Perspective 9/16/19:
I got the call Monday night as I got home from my last class of the day. “Hey, how did it go at the doctors?” I asked my mom, who I knew took my dad down to Miami to get something checked out on his LVAD, or as we liked to call it, his half bionic heart, since the LVAD replaces the job of his left ventricle. “You need to come now” she said. “Your father is dying.” It was a Monday. I still had classes to attend for the rest of the week. Without question, I packed about 4 days’ worth of clothes and left. Little did I know that I would be gone for over three weeks and would possibly have to withdraw from the semester.

My dad wasn’t in the best of shape when I arrived—he really was dying. His skin was so fragile, his complexion so pale, and he was so drugged up on pain meds he couldn’t think straight, yet he could still feel the intense pain of the LVAD motor overheating inside of him.

“They’re saying the only solution to make this pain end for him is a transplant.” But we were another year away from that! His body wasn’t in good enough shape yet. He couldn’t handle it. My heart was breaking for him. The next morning the doctors had walked in. It was less than 24 hours after my dad was bumped from a status four to a status one. And they had a heart. In 24 hours, they found a heart. In 24 hours, they found a heart.

My Dad’s Hearts 9/19/19:
Old Heart: This LVAD guy has become my closest friend, but lately he has been acting a little weird. He feels a bit warmer than normal—maybe he has a fever. Or maybe he’s just overworked and tired from helping me out. Over the last two years, I have gotten much better at doing the job myself, but I guess it’s not enough. He is running a bit quicker lately—is he trying to run away from me? Wait dude, why are you running so fast? Can you stop? No response? Don’t leave me hanging, I know you can hear me. Why am I in so much pain?? You’re not even helping anymore, just burning. I can’t handle the body on my own, especially not with you causing such a ruckus! I can’t even think straight…

New Heart: Why did my best friend fail me? Wait, where are we going?! It’s getting hard to breathe… I think I might faint… Woah, where am I now? What are these rubbery-things around me? OW! Why was I shocked? What the hell man?! I didn’t need… AHHH! Again? Okay hold on, things are starting to feel better… This tastes weird. This isn’t my best friend’s blood, that’s for sure. But wait, is it? Did they just MIX his blood like a cocktail? This is so weird. There’s more space in here than I’m used to… Is this my new home?


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