We have been working on the transport of Nelson for several months now and the day has finally come.
When we initially began this process I was able to go visit him and spent about 45 minutes just listening to his story. His story is quite sad and complicated for a young man of only 25 years.
Here is a short summary: At the age of 11 his mom left him and his younger brother on the side of a road in their home state of Texas. She told them she was starting a new job and would be back to get them later that day. She had a drug problem and after a week of living behind a motel they realized that she was not coming back. He began dealing drugs to support he and his brother which is something he did for quite a few years.
Fast forward several years and he finally married and began working. He is now supporting not only his wife but her family as well and there are many difficulties with these relationships too. They have 2 children of their own. He has located his father, from which he has several half-siblings, one a sister that he is very close to.
One day as he left work quite angry, he was involved in a horrific car accident at the age of 22. This leaves him hospitalized and in need of a multiorgan transplant. He is brought from Dallas to Indy to receive a kidney, liver, pancreas and small intestinal transplant. He stays in Indianapolis for about 9 months and then returns to to his home in Dallas. After being home only a short few months his body has begun to reject the organs he was given. He is once again returned to Indy where the transplants are repeated.
He has remained here ever since. So it is, for the last 3 years of his life he has been living in the hospital and away from his family. His brother whom he was close to came to visit but they eventually had a disagreement.
His father made the trip the only once and during all of this his wife has left him and taken the children who are now 7 and 5 years old.
To say he is depressed would be an understatement he has no real will to continue as his body is again rejecting his organs. His only family are now the hospital staff of whom many times he can be very unpleasant towards. His small hospital room which has become his home gets smaller and smaller as he fills it with more and more stuff in effort to fulfill the emptiness inside himself.
When I had initially visited he shared this with me, “All I really want is the family I remember seeing on TV, the one where in the mornings, the kids come in and jump on the bed and we all spend the day together.” That is what sticks in my memory today as we transport him back to the hospital Dallas where he does not want to go. During the transport he was quite anxious, mainly because he did not want to make the trip otherwise he did well.
I tried to encourage him that now he will be closer to his children whom he has not seen, and he said he did not even have any recent pictures. I am not sure what will become of Nelson now, but my prayer is that someone will bring his children to visit and that will give him the will to want to fight.
We placed him into his new bed and prayed for healing not only physically but emotionally as well.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:18
SO WE FIX OUR EYES NOT ON WHAT IS SEEN BUT ON WHAT IS UNSEEN, SINCE WHAT IS SEEN IS TEMPORARY, BUT WHAT IS UNSEEN IS ETERNAL.
Thank you to Hal, Jason and Todd for sharing this mission with me. A special thank you to Tammy the case manager whose heart was touched by Nelson and it was her determination that made this possible.
Shelli Engle RN