~shared by Colleen Mitchell
A very Happy Father's Day to all!
What's that old saying: "Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad."
Colleen Mitchell and brother Kevin know all about special parents, the kind that make the world a better place, who brighten dark days, who listen, encourage and love you -- no matter what.
Each Father's day is special. Yet, Father's Day 2014 is gearing up to be so much better for Glenn Mitchell of Forks Township. You see, last year, he was struggling to survive with a heart that was nearly worn out. On a much needed transplant list, he was anxiously awaiting a perfect match.
There were two false alarms for a new heart. The first was turned down by the heart transplant team and second was turned down by Glenn for various medical reasons; and finally, a third and much awaited call. On October 29, 2013, Glenn underwent intensive surgery, receiving a priceless, beating gift.
Eight months later, a healthier Glenn has the following words of advice: "Don't give up hope" and "Keep your faith." Asked if God's strength upheld him throughout his tough ordeal, Glenn instantly answered "absolutely."
Once gravely ill, he's been given a new lease on life, one of independence, travel and trips to the gym. Having just returned from Florida, Glenn says air travel is limited to a couple of hours. But that doesn't mean he's given up hope of a return trip to Ireland sometime in the future. It'll have to wait at least a year out from the transplant date - doctor's orders.
Medications have dramatically dropped from 35 to 40 pills post-transplant to about 25 pills taken daily nowadays. And yes, diet and exercise are strict, with triple trips to the gym weekly and diet restricted in fat, sugar and salt intake. But he's not complaining. It's just so good to be alive, to spend time with family and friends.
His life's motto… "Make the most of each day. Have a list of things to do each day and try to accomplish them."
There's an important item on Glenn's bucket list that he'll definitely fulfill in the near future. "One year after transplant, we can write a letter (to the donor's family," he explained. That's when he'll pen the biggest "thank you" ever. There aren't enough words in the English language to describe the ultimate gift that he's been given.
Glenn and his entire family are strong supporters of organ donation.
"All of us, the whole family, are so proud of him," Colleen said.
To learn more about organ donation, please visit organdonor.gov.
Colleen Mitchell is enrolled in the management training program at Woodloch Pines Resort.