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2023 – Harrison Gailey – HWRA – Bonneville HS

Mar 24, 2023

Overcoming Trials and Tribulation

Towards the end of my junior year of high school I got really sick and could not stay awake. I slept all day and missed a month of school. My mom was worried and took me to the pediatrician and the pediatrician said that I probably just have a sinus infection so she prescribed some steroids to get rid of it. After taking the steroids for a week and a half I still could not stay awake. We went back to the pediatrician and she said that she could no longer help me because she didn’t know what was going on. Another week passed and I still slept. Since my mom was told it was a sinus infection she decided to take me to a ENT to get me checked out. I let the ENT there know that I had a pain in my chest and that I could not get a full breath of air. She sent me to go get a X-ray done at a nearby hospital and so immediately I went over and got X-rayed. Shortly there after I was in the ER because they thought they saw fluid around my heart. They concluded that they didn’t but sent it over to Primary Children’s Hospital in SLC and Primary found a problem so me and my mom headed over there. Upon arriving I was put in a room really fast and at least a hundred people came in and listened to my heart. I got an ECHO done and several other tests done. I was told the next day that my heart was double the size of a normal heart and that I have been going through heart failure for at least a year. So slowly I had been dying and not knowing it. They said that they were going to try and save it with various medications. After about a month in the hospital I was told that I would need to get a heart transplant because my heart was beyond saving. I had already been staying in the hospital for an entire month so I was devastated that I would have to spend more time in the hospital waiting for someone else to die so that I could live. I had to wait for a mother to lose her kid so that my mom could keep her kid. It was and still is difficult seeing how my life was worth taking another life. After about three weeks of waiting for a heart I got the news that I had a heart perfect for me. Before the surgery I was handed an obituary to write in case I didn’t live through the procedure and I made a video for my mom in case I didn’t make it. Everything went well and for the next month I stayed in the hospital watching other people go home and I had to just sit there and wait till I get stronger and my meds get figured out. After a month of getting everything figured out for my health I was finally released from the hospital. Upon arriving home my town had a parade for me and welcomed me home. It was great to see a bunch of people who truly cared about me be there for me. Unfortunately I am immunosuppressed so I was unable to meet with people which has led to some mental health issues. Because I was still recovering from the heart transplant I was unable to lift more then ten pounds which led to me feeling useless. Being useful is very important to me so having that block was a huge struggle for me. Ways that I would cope with feeling useless was I would let my parents and siblings know that I love them and I would try to give whatever I could. When I wasn’t feeling useless I was not feeling at all. I made a mental block in my head that made it so I was unable to show emotion and I am still struggling through that. Sometimes I feel that showing emotion would make me appear weak or not masculine. I always want to make my dad proud and he has never cried in front of me or shown much emotion at all so I block emotions, even more so during this stage of my life, out to make sure I am keeping my appearance up. The best way that I have found so far with coping with stress, anxiety, depression, etc. has been to give hugs. A great way to help with those is also talking which I am trying to work on but it is something that is a very hard struggle for me. There are several reasons to have resilience and to persevere through trials and tribulation, mine are showing and receiving love.

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