It is painful to know we won’t see Thomas on this side of heaven. But it is comforting to know he is no longer suffering and in pain. Orianna and Thomas were not only husband and wife, they were best friends. Orianna has been Thomas' primary care giver for the last 6 years and by his side to the very end.
These are uncertain times for Orianna and I want her to be able to take the time she needs to heal from this devastating loss. This grief fund will be used for therapy, medical bills, and other healing activities.
Many of you have reached out to me because you have wanted to support Orianna and Thomas. Myself and several other friends have wanted to do this for quite sometime now and Orianna said no. Being the “baby” sister and all I listened. Now it’s different and she has given her blessing after I put her in a head lock … just kidding.
You may have been wanting to help and have sent messages to inquire about what you can do. So, I created this page so you can bless Orianna during this time.
Make a donation on this page in memory of Thomas Griffin and support for Orianna. - OR - you can use the cash app: $OriannaDixon
Learn more about the Griffins below...
A MESSAGE FROM CHUCH SISTER MICAYLA:
Meet Thomas Griffin. For the last 6 years, I have had the privilege of calling him & his amazing wife Orianna my friends... He has literally gone through the valley of the shadow of death more times than I can count since I've known him and not ONE time have I heard him complain... His wife, Orianna, has faithfully stood by his side "in sickness & in health" while maintaining an attitude of #gratitude, #positivity, & unwavering #faith. They are some of the most courageous, faith filled, incredibly strong people I have ever met. Through #diagnosis after diagnosis, middle of the night emergency room treks, medication, complications, countless IV's, & #dialysis sessions... they have been through it all... TOGETHER. I am simply in awe of their trust & faith in #God, even when it's hard & they don't have the answers... Thomas & Orianna, Thank you for being such wonderful, shining #examples to every one of us of what trusting God REALLY looks like. Thank you for handling these trials & tribulations with such #grace, #steadfastness, & dare I say #beauty. You both have made such an enormous #impact on MY life. So much more than I could ever express... You continue to be an excellent model to all of us who have our own various #struggles. I love you both so much, and as always, will continue praying for you both. This YEAR is your year for #breakthrough, #healing, & #blessing. You are loved! I see you...GOD sees you. Healing is coming. Isaiah 53:5
...Thomas is healed in heaven.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN…
[excerpts from emails, fb posts, newsletter updates and Orianna’s Blog “The unpredictable Wife’s Life” ]
**Feel free to read the last posts and/or scroll down to the VIDEO BELOW...
Thomas was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2001. Thomas began dialysis shortly after he was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2001. Thomas was diagnosed with lupus in 2004 shortly before we were married on August 7, 2004. Thomas received a kidney transplant on December 1, 2005. My baby sister gave Thomas one of her kidneys. Praise the Lord Thomas’ transplanted kidney lasted almost 6 years, so he had a dialysis-free life from December 2005 till 2011. In October 2011 the transplanted kidney failed and Thomas went back on dialysis on October 31, 2011. In April 2012 Thomas was having trouble breathing. We went to the hospital and he was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to the hospital. One of the antibiotics he was given was Ciprofloxacin. He had a bad allergic reaction to Ciprofloxacin. Thomas has been hospitalized 60+ times since April 2012. Some hospital stays were just one night but the longest hospitalization was 8 weeks. . .yes two months in the hospital. Between April 2012 and December 2015 Thomas has been diagnosed with heart failure and Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NFS). Thomas also has antiphospholipid antibody syndrome so that means his blood likes to clot. Thomas has been hospitalized twice due to a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung). Thomas has had C. diff three times, pneumonia twice, various infections a few times, etc. etc. In August 2015 a torn aorta was discovered so Thomas had emergency surgery and spent 4 days in ICU. Due to the NFS Thomas is unable to stand up straight nor is he able to walk without a walker. It is a challenge for him to stand and walk but Thomas pushes through the pain. He never complains and he remains faithful that he will get better and he will be able to walk regular again.
THOMAS’ LAST BATTLE
On DECEMBER 29, 2017 Thomas was admitted into UCLA Medical
It’s was a long hard 3 months in the ICU…
Had to take Thomas to the ER at 1am PST. Felt like crying and yelling because I thought we were done with this place. As we waited to check-in I looked at my Instagram account and these were the first two posts I saw. Talk about being encouraged right at the moment when you’re starting to feel discouraged. Ain’t God good! Come through social media ministry!
It has been a challenging past few days in ICU. Early Sunday morning was rough, when the doctors said your husband is very sick and struggling to breathe we must intubate him and put in a central line. We’re going to have to ask you to leave the room. All I could do was pray and cry as I exited Thomas’ room and rushed to the waiting room. It was 3:48am. I called my sister and she was by my side in 30 minutes. Thank God for sisters.
I then sent a text message to my church family. Before church sister Elba stopped by to pray for Thomas. After church Micayla, Nilani, Tarek, Karla, Angela, and Ben came through. And we had a good ‘ol fashioned prayer meeting in the courtyard at the hospital. Later on Jasmine and her precious son Paul showed up with Jambalaya and snacks. Then Charmaine came through for moral support. And then on Monday, Debbie rode her bike from Santa Monica to Westwood so she could pray with Thomas. I could write a book about the wonderful people at Faith Tabernacle Church. Truly the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank God for people who are the church.
Thomas’ best friend Jamal arrived early Sunday morning and stayed until 7:30pm. And then came back on Monday so I could step away for a few hours. Jamal is ALWAYS there for us. Thank God for friends who are really more like family.
My brother-in-law Ben showed up and stayed all day. Thank God for a supportive brother-in-law.
And then The Crew (Syreeta, Karimah, & Elizabeth) showed up. A group of women who attended USC with Thomas back in the 90s. And they have been best friends ever since. Thank God for lifelong friends.
When you’re going through a challenging time make sure you have a village of people who can and will support you. Thank God for our tribe.
Thomas spent his 46th birthday in the hospital, but Orianna made it special. She asked people to send in video wishes. It brightened his day a little.
JANUARY 7th :
Blessed to have an army of people who show up to pray for Thomas and to encourage him. Thank you Micayla Burnes, Tarek Tohme, Ben Osbun, Amanda Adkins Long, Ruth Epstein, Daniel Rodriguez, Kymmy Keaton, Sheila Sasha Wombat, Stephanie, Yasin, Miriam, and Marcus for visiting this week. And an extra special Thank You to Jamal Sharif who stayed with Thomas for a few hours on Monday so I could step away for a bit. Also an extra extra special Thank You to my baby sis who stayed with Thomas for several hours on Wednesday so I could rest, and even did her weekly life coaching broadcast from Thomas’ hospital room.
DAY 31 in the hospital:
Emotionally challenging Sunday BUT God.
When the ICU doctor said your husband has the worst kind of infection and needs emergency surgery, it shook me. I stumbled but I did not crumble. I prayed. I cried. I called on others to pray, and I called in support. Then BAM! God turned it around. The surgery team deferred to Interventional Radiology (IR). IR came and said they can place a catheter (a long, thin, hollow plastic tube) through the skin into the hematoma to allow for drainage of the infected fluid. At this point, no surgery necessary. The procedure to place the catheter was a success. Now the nasty infected hematoma is draining. Thank You for keeping those prayers flowing. Thank you Natasha McCrea Benmio McCrea and Jamal Sharif for rolling up to the hospital for moral support and dinner. And shoutout to my Daddy Arthur R Dixon who hopped on a plane and is with me now. Still walking by faith. God is Able. #healedhusband #jehovahrapha #thereishealinginthenameofjesus #HopeWhileYouCope #SometimesThisisWhatMarriageLooksLike #inSicknessandinHealth #ForBetterForWorse #facesofcare #SpousalCaregiver #LivingTheVows #MyUnpredictableWifeLife
Way too many details to share in a post. But, here’s the short version, Saturday night a surgeon and an anesthesiologist said Thomas most likely would not survive the emergency surgery he had to have, but if they didn’t do the surgery he definitely would not survive, so they asked do you want the surgery. Thomas said, “Yes, I want the surgery and if I don’t survive donate my body to science”. Well, my Warrior Husband survived part 1 of the surgery! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus! Praise the Lord! Part 2 will be Monday or Tuesday! Keep those prayers flowing. Thank you Jon Dixon, Natasha McCrea, Benmio McCrea, Jamal Sharif, Shani, Malcolm, Elizabeth O'Neill, Robert Robby Poole, Chrstyee Pharris and Jordan Phillips for coming to the hospital and staying with me. And an extra special thank you to my Dad Arthur R Dixon and my Aunt Dorine Stearns for spending the night at the hospital with me. #GodisAble #DoitAgainLord #HowGreatisOurGod #GreatisThyFaithfulness #healedhusband #jehovahrapha #thereishealinginthenameofjesus #HopeWhileYouCope #SometimesThisisWhatMarriageLooksLike #inSicknessandinHealth #ForBetterForWorse #facesofcare #SpousalCaregiver #LivingTheVows #MyUnpredictableWifeLife
JOB WELL DONE
To be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD. My beloved Thomas Griffin took his eternal rest at 6:01pm PST on Friday, April 6. My heart is broken but I choose to live in the light of his life instead of the darkness of his death. He fought the good fight and he finished the race...Well Done Thy Good and Faithful Servant.
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