With an inherited heart disease, and death nearly knocking at his door, a young child faces a challenge that few will ever know. Flown by a small jet from Salt Lake City, Utah to Southern California, an infant receives a heart transplant during the wee hours past midnight following an emotionally stricken evening. “A Whisper of Springtime” is a detailed narrative centered on one family’s spirit, faith, and resolve.
eBooks2go was curious and compelled to know more, so we asked author Tedi Tuttle Wixom if she’d be willing to relive that time in both her and her son’s lives. Her response, as follows, will allow you to recognize her mindset throughout Jason’s intense ordeal and why she felt compelled to share this incredible story of heartache that turned into triumph!
My husband, baby Jason, and I had made a midnight flight from Salt Lake City to Loma Linda, California, we were stuck at Norton Air Force Base while we were waiting for an ambulance to show up. We had so many stories to tell, that as I was in the process of writing what was happening every day with our son, I thought, This is what books are made from—true experiences that most people don’t have. We experienced nonstop thrillers of events as a family. It is incredible that with the faith we had we took off in a little jet, not knowing what would or could really happen. Would we survive? Would our baby survive the transplant?
Our fifth child and fourth son, was born smaller than our others, and seemed to be weaker than the large hearty babies we’d had. I was working on a Bachelor’s Degree in English at Brigham Young University and I had enrolled for two or three classes for fall semester that I thought I could handle with a baby in tow. I only had a handful of classes to complete for my Bachelor’s degree. I was intent on finishing, but when my baby was diagnosed with a heart problem, I couldn’t believe it. I blamed myself for his problems thinking, did I eat something while I was pregnant that caused his heart to malfunction. What could I have done different?
My husband was a teacher and school wasn’t out for the summer break. After the episode with our son at 9 months of age we flew to California and I ended up living in San Bernardino, California with a couple from our same faith who became my second parents. My husband had to finish school and he took care of the older three children, ages 7 and under. The couple in California treated me like one of their own kids. And then after thinking that this could be a book, I started calling and hunting for a publisher for my book. I would tell everyone at Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) that I was writing a book about Jason and that I was going to publish it. They were all very supportive. We had made a lot of very good friends who had children with heart transplants. We sat in the doctor’s office for 3-5 hours about three times a week for heart transplant follow-up.
I remember being stressed out as a mom with an infant who weighed about 9 pounds at 9 months old and thinking “When will his last day be? Will I wake up tomorrow and find him dead in his crib?” I was so stressed out. I had to fly to Southern California at a few hours’ notice, and then when we got there the doctors had to do more tests to determine if the heart pressures were all right so Jason could even have a heart transplant. One doctor at LLUMC said in our preliminary meeting around midnight, “You can say no to the heart transplant up to the time we perform it.” I looked at him and thought, we didn’t fly clear to California from Salt Lake City, Utah to say no, turn around and fly home. I was ready to move on with my son’s transplant to rescue his organs, his heart, brain, and life!
At that time I had just finished Winter Semester at Brigham Young University (BYU) studying as an English Major and I only needed about three classes to finish my Bachelor’s Degree–so I began to take a home study course on novel writing from Bruce Jorgensen (BYU) as soon as I got settled in San Bernardino during the heart transplant ordeal. The book for the course was priceless for writing information. I never completed that course, but I did write a couple of books because of its information; therefore, it was not it vain.
Since I had been a journal writer, a letter writer, and all, I decided I needed a computer to write when I got to California. So a neighbor in California let me borrow a laptop and I wrote every day on it—our experiences. I also kept my thoughts, prescription info, and schedules for Jason’s medication in my notebook journal that I wrote in every day to vent my frustrations. I videotaped visits to the hospital, even whole conversations with nurses and doctors that I planned to use later. Some of which are full transcriptions of conversations in the book. I did not want the things that I was experiencing be lost in the shuffle of modern-day technology. It was too strange and outrageous to be real, yet it was.
As I began to write the story into a book, it was so close to me that I wrote it in third person. When we finally returned to Salt Lake, we were in the news a lot and had interviews. Heart transplants for kids under 8 years of age didn’t exist in Salt Lake City. I started to look for a publisher. Two years after I submitted my story originally titled “To Heal a Heart”, I was told that I needed to make it more personal by putting it in first person. That was a huge undertaking. It brought out a lot of emotions that lay buried with all the events that occurred around the entire event, and post heart transplant trauma. A 16-year old named Ryan, who received a new heart about a week before Jason, had befriended us during heart transplant visits, but he died shortly after our return to Salt Lake, which was devastating to us. He had filmed us on VCR at the hospital and had a special place in his heart for little Jason. But I did it. It took two years before the first book was publishing in 1994. So this is the 20th anniversary of that publishing now found at all retail bookstores in E-book format.
Find the eBook version of “A Whisper in Springtime: Jason’s Heart Transplant Miracle” in the following stores:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-whisper-of-spring-time-tedi-tuttle-wixom/1120005777
To learn more about this author and her works, please visit http://tedibooks.wix.com/info or contact her at email@example.com.