Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Checked In

We made it to Philadelphia this afternoon and are checked in and finally settling into the Gift of Life House. Stephen's "supposed" to be sleeping, but he must be excited about tomorrow too because he hasn't napped in two days and is now playing in the pack-n-play instead of sleeping. It should be an interesting night since he's never slept in one before. We thought we were actually going to have a big problem because I didn't realize how low to the ground he would sleep in a pack-n-play and the dialysis machine wouldn't work with him on the ground and the tubing running up over the sides. But thankfully I found a way to run the tubing through the bottom of it so it seems to be working fine. But the people here who run the Gift of Life House were so nice that they were actually going to go out and buy something for Stephen to sleep in if the pack-n-play didn't work!

The Gift of Life House is such a beautiful place and everything in it has been provided with donations. It has a gorgeous huge kitchen with a giant pantry and big refrigerators and freezers full of food and goodies that we have access to 24/7 and there seems to always be pastries and cookies and coffee available. Honestly, I would kill to have even a part of that kitchen! There are laundry facilities, a work out room, a meditation room, a play room, and even a small hair salon where volunteers come twice a month to give house guests free hair cuts. And like I said, everything is donated....even down to the no surcharge ATM (although no free cash...haha)! And each night a different restaurant or organization comes and either cooks or brings dinner for the house guests. Of course since it is communal living and not a hotel there are some house rules, but we're more than happy to follow any and all rules. And it seems like we might be one of only a few (3 or 4) families staying here. Who knows, we might just end up staying here long-term during Stephen's transplant while he's in the hospital.

Now I just need the little guy to fall asleep since we have a LONG day of appointments tomorrow!! Hopefully the next time I write I'll have some great news to share from Stephen's transplant team!!


  1. This is such a huge day for your family! I am wishing you nothing but good news. I will be thinking about you all day. - Ciara

  2. All our prayers and very best wishes for tremendous news .... if not this time, then the next visit to CHOP.

    All our love to you three ...... Mimi & Poppy

  3. It thrills me to bits that you guys have come this far! I am so thankful to be praying about an impending transplant. Waa-hoo! Love you all. Still sending prayers.


  4. Lindsey,
    I have read you and your family have had a bit of a tough road since leaving the Family House. I am happy to hear Stephen is home now and doing better. Please don't hesitate to call if you need any additional support during this "roller coaster ride." Gift of Life Donor Program ( and Gift of Life Family House ( has great information and resources regarding "the list" and even transplant caregiver issues that may come up. Thank you for your kind words about the Family House and we look forward to hearing more of your family's journey through transplant and wish Stephen and the rest of your family a happy new year.

    -Gift of Life Family House Staff