We made the big move to Philadelphia for Stephen's transplant on Saturday afternoon and are starting to settle in and get accustomed to our new neighborhood, apartment, and surroundings. We were able to get everything jam packed into one car, which was a miracle and a feat in and of itself, and then got everything moved up and into our apartment pretty easily. Within a couple of hours, we had Stephen's new crib put together and most of everything unpacked and started exploring our new neighborhood. And today, we worked on making our one-bedroom apartment a bit more like home and rigged the window over Stephen's crib so he couldn't play with the blinds, but were still able to make it dark enough for him to sleep. Hopefully tonight we'll all sleep as well as we did last night. And I have to say, it was actually kind of nice having him sleep in the room with us because I didn't even need to have the monitor next to my head. But we were woken up early this morning by a little boy shouting "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!"
I've had some friends and family ask for our address, and since it's totally against "Internet etiquette" and I guess for safety, I shouldn't post our apartment number. But if anyone wanted to send Stephen or Kristin a get well card (I know she would definitely appreciate it), you can send it to the building and the front desk will make sure it gets to us. Our address is:
The Franklin Residences
c/o Stephen Schwartz or Kristin Freeman
834 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
And of course, cards be also sent to CHOP or the University of Pennsylvania. Our schedule for the week is as follows:
Monday - blood work and chest X-ray in the morning. This is the final crossmatch blood work between Kristin and Stephen to make sure nothing has changed in the past couple of months that would preclude the transplant from happening. We don't expect any surprises, but you know how that goes 😉
Wednesday - Stephen has an appointment with anesthesiology at 1 pm and afterwards will be admitted to the hospital. He'll spend Wednesday night in the hospital so they can make sure his medications, feelings, and dialysis all are set for surgery in the morning.
Thursday - Kristin is admitted to Penn's hospital (HUP) early in the morning and Stephen will be prepped for surgery. They should be the first case of the day, but we haven't yet been told what time. The surgeons will remove Kristin's kidney and once they know all is good, Stephen will be taken to the OR. And then we all sit and wait the very very long 6-7 hours and pray super hard that all goes well and the kidney starts making lots and lots of pee.
Stephen will be in the hospital for about 7-10 days and Kristin will be in the hospital for 3-4 days. Once Kristin is discharged (and the day prior to surgery) she's going to recover and recuperate here in our apartment (her Mom and husband will be here to help her) until the physicians allow her to go home. And Bill and I will be staying at the hospital with Stephen and either at the Ronald McDonald House or Gift of Life House until he's discharged from the hospital. Then we will be staying here for another 4-6 weeks until the doctors feel comfortable enough to transfer his care to our doctors back in Virginia. That's our plan for now, but we know things can change at any moment and we figure we'll just go with the flow as best we can.
Please keep us and Kristin and her family in your prayers this week as we all embark on this next chapter. We've been telling Stephen for the past two days that we're on a new adventure, and he's been having a lot of fun exploring his new surroundings, but I know there will be some difficult days ahead in our new adventure. So please keep those prayers, positive thoughts and virtual hugs coming! We love and appreciate them very much!!