Sunday, August 06, 2006

transplant cruise

Today from 11:30am - 4:00pm Drs. Schuster, Shore, and Harpel and the medical staff of the BMT program at Weill Cornell hosted the seventh annual Transplant Alumni Luncheon Cruise. It was a truly wonderful event that has left me with so many uplifting memories. Su was my guest and we had a fabulous experience.

The vessel, the World Yacht called "Princess," left Pier 81 at West 41st Street at the Hudson River from where it traveled leisurely down the river into NY Harbor and then, up the East River a bit before returning to its home on the Hudson. The Princess was just about full. From the way it looked, I don't think there were many vacant seats left. Schuster joked that this year the event was so well attended that it's probable that the Princess or other similar-sized vessels wouldn't be able to accomodate the growing numbers of transplant alumni and their family/friends. In total, 160 transplant survivors were present on the cruise, which is such a monumental figure to contemplate. As Schuster himself said so eloquently, 160 stories all in one small space . . . so inspiring, so powerful.

I was fortunate to see some of the nurses, who took care of me during my transplant stay, although a good number of others weren't there. I saw Ayon, for example, my nurse during the night that I "broke down" psychologically. It was so nice to catch-up with her. Grace, Jielian, and Lelanie were other favorites of mine, however, they weren't present. Colorful Manny, the stem cell technician, wasn't there either. I had made copies of photographs that I had taken of them during my hospital stay and asked Joyce, a nurse assistant, to give them to those nurses and aids when she saw them back at the hospital.

Scott, the physician assistant, whom I spoke so much about during my transplant, was there. It was just a delight seeing him again. He surprised me with the news, however, that he had left Weill Cornell for its uptown twin Columbia Presbyterian. After three years in the BMT unit at Weill Cornell, he's working in the ICU at Columbia. All the best to Scott!

I chatted with Bita, whom looked wonderful as always. I joked with her that I'd have to check up on her and the others from time to time in order to make sure that everything was running well.

Below are a few photographs of the revelry from the cruise.

And here are some of Su and me aboard the Princess and at Byrant Park, where we spent some time afterwards.


Comment Blogger Aeschulus said...

I just hope no one needs a liver after that ;-) Ya know, we almost lost a governor for a cruise just like that! If only we could actually have lost him!


2:48 PM  

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