New Year’s Eve was completely uneventful in the McYong household but this week we have been easing into 2018 with a road trip to the winter wonderland of Manning Park. It is such a cliché but can you believe it is already 2018??!
A new year is supposed to signify a new start, optimism and hope for a good 12 months ahead. As a transplant parents, I like to think of our outlook on life as realistic optimism. Sometimes things are amazing. Sometimes they suck. Like when I’m looking at survival stats post-transplant. Since Addison’s transplant, we have tried not to fixate on the stats, but we never forget them. You can’t shake those post-transplant survival rates when you picture your own child as one of the numbers. 50-60% survival at ten years post transplant. That’s what I remember from those reams of studies I scrolled through in the early days. Ten years is such an awfully short amount of time, especially considering Addison is already six years and nine months old!
Call it fortunate timing, but just last week I came across the latest survival stats for heart transplant patients. I haven’t looked in a few years, and I am pretty sure these 2017 numbers came out months ago. Somehow, they popped up on one of my social media channels as we are kicking off the new year, and maybe it’s a sign. For once, I was actually buoyed from reading the cold hard facts. There was a little lightness in my heart – no pun intended – as I put my daughter into these new numbers. Out of the 199 pages of pediatric heart transplant stats, there are still some dire graphs with grim numbers. I skimmed over those ones. Instead, I focused on one big number that is directly relevant to where we are in Addison’s transplant journey. For children who have survived five years post-transplant, survival rate at ten years is around 85%!! And at 25 years it’s now more than 60%!!!
I know we haven’t won the lottery here, but I’ll take every little incremental gain I can. When I see these numbers, I see more hope. More optimism. More of a future for Addison. I see the results of ongoing research. I see the brave fighting spirit of our fellow transplant families who have blazed the trail and those who continue to battle their way today. I see that we are slowly turning transplant into a cure. I see the possibility this will happen in Addison’s lifetime. I think that’s a helluva way to start 2018.
That and a little snowshoeing. First time for Addison. She loved it. Charlie was only happy when Momma was lumping her chubby butt around. I’ll call it a McYong family success.
Elaine, Aaron, Addison and Charlie