My name is Jamie Ducary, I'm a 45 year old miracle. In less than 10 days I will be going on an adventure of a lifetime. I will be spending 12 days in Cuba on a mission trip spreading the word of God, my story and how God is true and real. A man of many miracles and mercy.
Here's my story, I was born on a hot day in August of 1968. At birth I was normal size and and weight. But my skin had a bluefish color to it. I seemed to cry more than normal, and wasn't as attentive as a normal baby. My mom had taken me to many Drs, after she repeatedly had taken me back to the pediatrician, they could not determine what was wrong with me. They told my Mom "take him home and just love him until he dies".
A Dr. Friend of the family told my Mom to take me to another Dr. That he knew in Philadelphia. Dr. Black, he had big hands and took me to examine me, I seemed so small that I fit in his hand like a grapefruit with arms and legs. He held me up, looked me over and determined within minutes that I was born with a bad heart.
Eventually i was diagnosed which Single Ventriclure Cardial Pulmanary Stenosis, which is basically is a single ventricle, and on top of that I was born with heterotaxy syndrome, basically my organs are mirrored on the inside.
Through the years I have had several open heart surgeries to have this congenital problem not so much fixed, but patched, 7 to be exact. In 1991 at the Mayo Clinic I had a heart reconstructive surgery called the Fontan procedure to better allow the blood to oxygenate and flow better. I was good, real health for about 6 years, than in early 1997 I began to have Atrial Fibulation frequently. With the help of medicine and learning how to control it I was good for a few years.
Due to a new job, I had moved my family, my amazing wife and 3 children.
On the morning of the day I was suppose to report to my new job, I had a bout of A-fib. But with prayer and self control I was able to overcome it. But that was the beginning of it getting worse. Within 3 months I was having A-fib once a week. And being shocked back into rhythm repeatedly. Finally the local hospital where I lived and that was treating me was at the end of their road. They refered me to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, because my issues had started with that from being a congenital problem. I fell under the care of one of the best Drs ever. Immediately they had a plan, another surgery to short out the electrical system of my heart called the Maise procedure with the implimentation of a pacemaker. This seemed to have worked well for many years. Until Dec. of 2009, after a routine checkup it was discovered that I had a significant leaky valve. The plan was to do a repair, yes another heart surgery in March of 2010. At an appt in March my Dr had told me that after discussing my case with other cardiologist that perhaps surgery wasn't the best option. So instead she had suggested that I meet with the Transplant program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. That C.H.O.P. had started a new relationship with H.U.P. (Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania) called the congenital transplant program. She assured me if they couldn't help that she would fix my leaky valve.
May of 2010, I had a interview and two days of testing, within a week they where confident that they could transplant a new heart to save my life. However, I also had to receive a liver transplant also. Because of the many years that my heart was in heart failure, Not working it's full potential I had developed in my liver what's called fibrosis It's one stage before cirrhosis or liver failure. Understanding that i would have a 50% survival possibility I was put the transplant list. Up to this point I was always afraid not of dying but of my wife or children finding me dead. My family knew that I was sick at now with my heart getting weaker they understood that possibility, but no one talked of it.
In August of 2010 I was admitted to the hospital for heart failure, my body was retaining water that my liver couldn't cycle. With a weeks worth of I.v. meds. and rest I was sent home with orders to not do anything strenuous and just to take it easy. In October of 2010 I was admitted again with the same, heart failure I was definitely dying.
Now the plan was to keep me until they could find a donor. Once again I was treated with I.v. meds that helped but didn't heal. I was almost top of the transplant list, than the day before Thanksgiving I was sent home and had to wait for the call.
What people don't understand that being on a transplant list is tricky. You see you have to be sick enough to qualify to be on the list, but than their is a point where you can still be sick, but not sick enough or you could even be to sick. Dr's routinely meet once a week to discuss the fate of patients that are on their transplant list. I'm not sure weather I was fortunate or unfortunate to be sent home, but at least I was able to spend another Thanksgiving with my family.
About 12:30 am in the morning on December 14 I received the call, it's funny because my wife works at UPS and I actually thought the phone call was for her. In all actuality it was my call that my donor organs where possibly ready. It's not always a match. I have heard of people getting their calls 2 or 3 times only to find out they weren't a perfect match.
So I woke everyone up, I started the phone tree to tell everyone that it was time. My wife, me and the kids piled into our mini van and took the 45 minute ride to Philadelphia. Of course we had to make a final coffee run at Wawa.....Hahahahahaha. It's very weird driving thinking this may be my last time driving. It's the little things we never think of. Like the last time driving through this park, or sitting at a dreaded long traffic light.
Once at the hospital, you have to have a mad amount of blood taken from you, it's like 14 viles and 3 giant bottles. They need all that blood to run various types of test to make sure that your body, blood, and cells are a perfect match for your donor organs. Mine where, and so the operation began. Within 3 hours of the phone call I was being wheeled into the operating room, saying what could be my final goodbyes to my family. Itwas difficult.
My wife, who is really my lifesaver and rock would always say to me and instill in my mind, "I trust you Lord", I trust that what the outcome is that it is your plan..... That was our saying when ever things looked bleek, we had doubt or we where afraid. "I trust you Lord".
24 hours of surgery, 9 days in I.c.u. And weeks InThe hospital I was a new man.
I never really knew the severity of how bad my heart was until when I was about 3 days after in the I.c.u. The Dr who took out my old heart came by to talk with me and my wife. He said that I was a very lucky man, that someone definitely up their loved me. He told us that it was very difficult to take out my old heart, and that once he had it out it was like jello it literally just fell apart in his hands. All of the scar tissue from previous surgeries where what was keeping my heart together, keeping me alive. That is crazy wild.
I was released from the hospital exactly one month later on January 14, 2011. The Drs said it would be a long tough recovery. Many a days would go by that I thought, I'm never going to feel normal again. I wasn't going to give up and I had made it a personal goal that by June 1st I wanted to be riding my bicycle.
That is what happened, by June I was on my bike enjoying life. I was a totally different person. New or like new. I am truly a miracle of God. I have been so blessed with this whole process. I have always had no organ rejection. The diabetes and migraines that are associated with the ultra high doses of meds that where administered during transplant are gone. The tremors and shakes from high doses of rejection medicine where gone.When your a transplant patient how it works is after the new organs are in they literally destroy and tear down your immune system with high doses of meds and than slowly try to normalize you. The whole time tricking your body that the foreign organs in your body are yours. It is so amazing how the whole process works.
Considering that in 1989 when I went to a hospital that specialized in hearts, turned me down. I literally had a Dr. tell me their was no way ever that I would be a candidate for a heart transplant. I guess God showed him.
Growing up I have always believed in God and when I was about 22 I was reintroduced to God by one of my friends father, he was a devout Christian with the love of Christ flowing through him. With that saying I believed in God and knew that their was a reason for me to be on this earth. This may just be the reason for his love and graciousness. His mercy and his almighty healing power. His ability to perform miracles is absolutely astounding. His love for me is unprecedented.
Now I have an opportunity to share my story. spreading the word of God. Not only with believers but with non believers as well.
So please if you can afford it, and would be willing and able to help make this opportunity that is before me come to fruition. Please bless me as you see fit.
Thank you and may you be blessed multiple times over for your generosity.
When your ever in a situation and you believe in God and his great healing power but you just seem so unsure say to your self, " I trust you Lord"
Peace and Love to you, Jamie
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