Sam, Guadalupe’s oldest son also has Cystic Fibrosis. After Jessica’s death Sam registered in February 2009 for a transplant. We will never know why Jessica did not want a transplant.
At Chameleon we were all “prepared” for when the call would come in that a donor was available. Guadalupe and Sam would have to immediately go to Stanford. Sam had instructions to call the store if the call came in and Guadalupe would drop what she was doing.
May 5th Sam called. I answered out in the front of the store. Sam asked to speak to his Mom because “they were invited for lunch.” I told Liz to go back and get Guadalupe as quickly as possible and to be sure to say “no emergencia”. Guadalupe came out to the phone and I continued with a customer nearby. All of a sudden we heard a “Dios mio” and saw Guadalupe become faint. The call had come. We bundled her up, tears of joy and of fear, and told her to call anytime of night or day.
I was especially stressed because May 6th would have been Jessica’s 23rd birthday and it would be especially horrible to have a tragedy happen on that day. We all waited. Then at 5:00 a.m. on the 6th Guadalupe called me to say the transplant did not happen and they had returned from Stanford. I went to their house. Sam was in really good spirits despite the exhausting 24 hours without food. He explained he was delighted because he realized that he was high on the list and was thankful they did not proceed because the donor lungs were not 100%.
But then Sam asked me, “Camay, how come you were so calm when I called? I thought you would be excited and nervous about the transplant.” I had to fess up that when he called I thought he said “invited for lunch” not that “they have lungs!” We all laughed and decided the next time he would say it in Spanish…”hay pulmones!”
On Memorial Weekend 4 years ago Sam called to say “hay pulmones” and became one of the best recipients of a double lung transplant ever. He was out of the hospital and became the happiest bus boy at Chili’s less than 6 weeks after his surgery! This was a young man who before could not walk across the room without coughing or being too weak. This began a whole new life for Sam and his family.