Madeline finally got the call Tuesday evening. She has been accepted to the lung transplant program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center!
It was a long process, and after a week of tests in Pittsburgh, she was hoping for good news from the medical team last Tuesday. It took an extra week, but we finally got the news that we (and all of you -- thanks!) were hoping and praying for.
There was a slight delay because the team wanted Mad to get a few extra tests. The week-long battery of tests they perform at UPMC are designed to make sure candidates are healthy enough to endure the transplant and long recuperation period, and test to what degree each candidate is in need of new lungs. Every week, the lung transplant team evaluates a handful of new patients and they meet the following Tuesday to review candidates, decide if they should be placed on the list immediately, if they're not quite ready to be placed on the list yet, or if they're simply not a good candidate for a lung transplant.
After leaving Pittsburgh, Madeline found out she was placed in the middle category and told that she needed to do a few more tests. She was able to quickly do these tests in Rhode Island and send all the results back to Pittsburgh to be reviewed in this Tuesday's meeting. Immediately following the meeting, the phone rang with the good news.
All the tests the UPMC team has been doing factor into where a person is placed on the transplant list and how long they'll wait for a donor to become available. Once Mad and Jim arrive in Pittsburgh, Madeline will be put on the list immediately and given a Lung Allocation Score (LAS) between 1 and 100. Basically, a higher score equals a shorter wait.
Madeline and Jim will be leaving Rhode Island on Saturday and moving to Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future. Stay tuned to this site, we'll update everyone on their trip -- and their journey -- as often as possible.
Thanks for everyone's support to get us to this point. It really means a lot!