By creator to www.thecourierexpress.com
RIDGWAY — Ken Thom of Ridgway has been referred to as “a miracle” by many individuals, and for good cause.
He and his spouse, Sue, who personal SK Workplace Provide in Ridgway, have endured extra well being setbacks than any couple ever ought to.
It started when Ken had an aortic valve alternative from which he by no means actually recovered years in the past, he mentioned, and he needed to be placed on an ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) machine and into an induced coma.
“The physician informed me to take him off of ECMO and let him go,” Sue mentioned. “I couldn’t try this.”
Ken was transported by way of helicopter to Cleveland Clinic, the place the physician additionally mentioned he wouldn’t make it, Sue mentioned. They experimented with Ken’s case, predicting he would don’t have any mind exercise when he awoke. However he did.
“It’s an incredible place,” Ken mentioned of Cleveland Clinic, specifically referencing the therapist who carried out bedside remedy with him often.
Being on ECMO triggered Ken to develop Finish Stage Renal Illness, from which he suffers now. He additionally underwent a double lung transplant at Allegheny Common Hospital in 2013.
Ken wrote a “Thanks” letter to the household of the one who donated their lungs to him, he says.
When Ken determined to hunt a kidney transplant, Sue needed to be the donor, however the two weren’t appropriate. Their oldest daughter additionally sought to be his donor however was not a match. Ken has been on recipient the record now for a number of years.
This received’t cease Sue from serving to another person, although.
“I’m nonetheless going to be a donor once they discover me a match,” she mentioned.
The testing course of took two years, and it was one thing arduous for Ken to observe his spouse undergo, he says. She slept within the ready room every day, and informed her youngsters to say goodbye to him.
“She didn’t hand over on me,” Ken mentioned.
Ken goes to dialysis at Penn Highlands Healthcare in DuBois three days per week.
“Watching these individuals and seeing what they undergo — your coronary heart goes out to them,” Sue mentioned, including they’ve each made many mates by means of Ken’s therapies and people mates at the moment are like household.
“We love to listen to individuals we all know have acquired a transplant,” she mentioned.
Ken has turn out to be a motivational speaker of kinds at dialysis, too, attempting to offer supportive speeches to others.
A part of the Thom’s mission is to deliver consciousness to organ donation, they mentioned, and unfold the phrase that miracles can very a lot occur, as a result of Ken is one himself.
The couple additionally needs to deliver mild to the employees within the medical subject who fought for Ken. Two Cleveland Clinic nurses even traveled to the world for his birthday.
“I’m alive due to God,” Ken mentioned, praising his religion.
“All the medical doctors and nurses name him a miracle,” Sue provides.