The Journey of a Heart Transplant Recipient .
"The purpose of life is a life of purpose."
What is the seriousness of a heart? This question seems to be clear and can be taken lightly to some, but to the Bonds family a heart is what was needed to keep their family together. After dealing with fifteen years of congestive heart failure, in 2005 Mr. Larry D. Bonds of St. Louis, Missouri was diagnosed with a blood clot in his left lung and kidney failure that weakened his heart even more. He underwent surgery and was given a pacemaker and defibulator, as well as a continuous Milrinone drip that is applied by IV. To his family his life seemed to be restored.
In 2008 the Bonds family faced what seemed to be unreal-- flat lined; Mr. Bonds died twice, but was revived. On May 19th Larry Bonds had the trial of his life. With lots of prayer and love Bonds began breathing again. Things remained critical for Mr. Bonds. His heart no longer functioned on its own, so his family began to prepare for the worst. Mr. Bonds was respected by so many people. Hundreds came to see him that day, flying in town from all over the country.
Mr. Bonds' situation seemed hopeless; they pulled the Bonds family in one very small, dull room and told them that he would not make it through the night if they could not reverse the failing of his major organs. The family and friends who were present were in awe, wondering if this could be the end for Mr. Bonds. Sixty or more people gathered together in a huge circle and began interceding in prayer. The nurses were amazed at the press of all the people who were outside of the ICU of Barnes Hospital praying for one man. They had never seen this before. After the doctors inserted a helium pump into Mr. Bonds' heart to assist with the heart function, things began to drastically change overnight. By noon of the following day Bonds' kidney levels went from 2% of failing to near normal. Doctors were astonished at how fast things turned around.
That evening Mr. Bonds went under the knife again, but this time he received a Heart Mate Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD). This device is considered a mechanical heart because it attaches to the heart and does the functioning for the heart with batteries and must always be connected to some type of power source. After struggling to bounce back, Bonds recovered and went back to assisting his church, Abundant Life Fellowship Church and continued his own efforts as a community outreach advocate. While living with the LVAD for six months Bonds presented himself to be a healthy jubilated 52 year-old man full of laughter, love and strength.
On November 1st, Bonds was placed on the heart transplant list, 18 days later on his son's birthday (November 19th) he received a call and was blessed with a new heart. Bonds is now at home enjoying longevity of life with his lovely wife Marsha of 32 years who has been by his side fully supporting him throughout his transition. Mr. Bonds recently met his donor family and now they are celebrating life together. Mr. Bonds continues to reach out to the Community and now works to help educate people about becoming an Organ and Tissue Donor. He is loved deeply by his children, grand-children, and new pet, Blue.