A father of seven literally missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime after a canceled flight prevented him from receiving a heart transplant.
Alaska’s Patrick Holland has been battling congestive heart failure — a VERY serious medical condition which occurs “when the heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. When this happens, blood often backs up and fluid can build up in the lungs, causing shortness of breath,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
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It should come as no surprise that when the 56-year-old received a call from the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington last Thursday, informing him he was next on the list to receive a life-saving heart transplant, a rush of emotions took over. He explained to King 5:
“I got the call and we weren’t expecting it, not so soon. I had just been placed actively on the transplant list [three weeks ago]. And to get that call so fast, I was terrified. I was scared — the thought of someone taking my heart out and putting another one in — it was scary.”
“Then, I moved on from scary to excited to the possibility of getting 10, 20 years, maybe even 30 years.”
However, there was a catch: Patrick had to get from Anchorage to Seattle — 1,500 air miles — in EIGHT hours. With time being of the essence, he quickly booked the next flight out. However, after arriving at the Fairbanks Airport, he was informed that his overnight flight had been canceled due to the historic winter storm that’s been sweeping the nation. But that didn’t stop him… He spoke with an Alaska Airlines representative, telling them of his story, and he was placed on the next available flight. But after four hours in the air, his hopes came crashing back down. Patrick explained:
“I heard the pilots say welcome to Anchorage.”
The flight unfortunately was not able to land at Sea-Tac Airport due to the persisting weather conditions, and the window of opportunity tragically slammed shut. He added:
“I think I cried more that day than I have in my life and had exerted every emotion that I’d never had.”
However, one thing got him through it — knowing the heart would not be going to waste:
“To get out of that funk, I immediately said, ‘Thank God, there’s going to be a family that saving someone’s dad saving someone’s brother, saving someone’s, someone’s uncle.’”
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As of now, Patrick is remaining positive, telling the news station:
“I’ve had an amazing 17 years with a wife, and my kids and to be able to watch the next two graduate would be just phenomenal.”
His plan is to return to Seattle for an extended period, so that if he gets another call, nothing will stand in the way. He noted:
“I will be closer, there’ll be no storms to stop me. It would take a completely different act of God to stop me.”
So heartbreaking! See more (below):
Ugh, what a roller coaster. We’ll definitely be holding out hope Patrick DOES receive that call so he can get the life-saving procedure sooner rather than later. Thoughts, Perezcious readers? Share your support in the comments down below!
[Images via Patrick Holland/Facebook & KING 5/YouTube]