Praise to God! Our friend Joe Stroup is in surgery tonight, getting a new heart! He has been on the heart transplant wait list for months, his health deteriorating all the while. He reached a point five weeks ago that required him to be hopitalized until a suitable heart could be located for him. Four possible replacement organs have been passed up by his surgeons because there was something about each of them that didn’t seem to be just the right match. Finally, this afternoon he and his wife received word that a suitable replacement had been obtained, tested and approved. It was enroute when they received the message, and preparations were being made for his surgery.

He had time to dash off a quick email to his mailing list, which reads in part:

Hi everyone,

I said I would send an update this week after tests were done and I had more information. I pretty much am all better now. My temperatures are normal now and I have not been having any chills. They did a scope of my bladder yesterday just to make sure there were no cists or inflamation. Everything looks good. They replaced my Swan Tuesday evening and moved me back to 1A. We’re all set to go again.

This is going to be a short update, and I wanted to tell you that all of my nurses are so great, and I wanted to tell that because I’m going to be leaving them tonight. Dr. Walsh just left after letting me know that they have a good heart coming for me this evening. So thank Amy, Evon, Teresa, Tracy, Kim, Erica, Carolyn, Kathryn, Ann, Bonnie, David, Randy, Rob, Justin and Brett – I know I probably missed someone.

There is one other thing I want to tell you before I need to get off of here. Last week my granddaughter Ashlynn Nicole sent me an email telling me that she had had a dream, two nights in a row, that she came to visit me on November 14th but I wasn’t there and they told her I was in surgery. Since the heart will not be here until this evening, and the typical surgery time is 6 hours, my second birthday will likely be that day. God works in mysterious ways and through all peoples.

Wish me luck and thanks for the many prayers.

Love to all
Joe”

We grieve for the unfortunate family who lost a loved one in order for this heart to become available for Joe. I know it is not much consolation to them, but Joe is a wonderful man loved by his family and countless friends. Joe deserves a good heart, a fast recovery and return to the selfless service to others that has always been a hallmark of his personality. We wish him well in his surgery tonight, and look forward to excellent news of his recovery and return to health in the near future.

Lord, God, you know our hearts and desires, and that we lift Joe up for your blessings for good health because we believe him to be a worthy servant who still has much to do in Your service here with us. Please guide the hands of the doctors and surgeons and grant Joe a full and complete recovery. We also pray for the peace and comfort of the donor’s family, that they might see You glorified through their loved one’s passing into eternal life. Thy will be done. In the name of Jesus Christ, our savior, we give thanks. Amen.

UPDATE

Joe emerged from surgery at 6:27a.m. the following morning after what doctors called a routine heart transplant. The new heart was pumping strong, and there were no complications. Joe is expected to have a full recovery and return home soon with more energy and stamina than he has felt for many years. We thank God for blessing Joe and his family with an uneventful surgery, and pray that the recovery will be just as routine. Glory to God for His miraculous healing, and for guiding the surgeons as they perform these amazing procedures!

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