My 25 days not in reality

 I could feel my heart pounding really fast.  I think if you looked at my neck you could see my pulse exploding out of my neck.  My dad said, “Son get ready.  We are going to take you to the hospital on the other side of Brevard.”  I didn’t really know what was going on.  I could feel myself lying there, but I could not move.  My wife was right there by my side.  There were also people there that I did not know.  We were at my dad’s friend’s house and he was a doctor, I think.  I was in a weird place.  This guy was my dad’s friend, but I did not know him.  I could see the guy’s wife and some of his friends and I think they were having a cookout.       

Next thing I know, they were loading me into a motorcycle trailer.  My wife said, “Ashley, you are going to be ok, trust me.”  I was trembling at this point not knowing what was going on.  I could hear the rumble of what I thought was the motorcycle engine.  The sweat was dripping off my forehead, my hands were clammy, and I could feel my moist shirt sticking to my body.  All of a sudden I was in a hospital on a boat.  I could hear the fog horn and feel the boat on the waves. The doctor told my wife, “We are going to take him down for a test to see if he qualifies for the prize.”  I could feel my legs trembling and tremors in my body from not knowing what was going on.  I was rolling down the hall at this time, in what I could see was a wheel chair. The nurse rolled me up beside a door and said, “Mr. Fullerton, you wait right here and I will be back.”  There was no one around that I knew.  I didn’t know where I was and couldn’t see anyone that I knew.  I had a thousand thoughts racing through my mind.  I tried to get up and walk away, but I could not seem to move.  I was wondering what was going on.

 I could hear the fog horn on the ship once again and could hear the captain speaking.  He broadcasted over the intercom that Ashley Fullerton had won the big prize.  All of the sudden the captain was standing in front of me.  I was startled, how did he get in front of me so fast?  I could feel my chest getting constricted.  It was getting troublesome for me to breath.  I could hear my wife say, “Ashley, calm down. You are ok.”  I couldn’t see her, but I could hear her voice.  The captain said to me, “Mr. Fullerton we have found you a shark, but you will have to wrestle it in order to get your heart.”  I was out of my mind.  What was this ridiculous captain talking about?  He was being very irrational.  I wasn’t about to get in a big fish tank with a shark.  I already felt like I could not move.  The male nurse told me, “Ashley, we are going to have to get up and try to walk to get you in shape for your heart from the shark.” At this point, I could feel my whole body shivering.  I was starting to breathe faster and faster.  My legs were shaking while I was sitting in the wheel chair.

 Now everyone was gone again.  There was no one there.  It was just me sitting beside this room.  I pushed a button on the wall.  It sounded like the room was filling up with water.  Images of the unseen wander through my imagination.  It’s all so strange, the wonder of it all.  Then I heard the male nurse say to me, “It’s almost your time to go in the tank through that door and get your heart.” I felt like a child laying in the bed hoping that a monster doesn’t come out of the closet.  I could feel a churning in my stomach and dryness in my throat.  I had this feeling of anxiety while waiting to see what was behind this door.  I was in a negative emotional state and was worried about my well-being.  I had this feeling of agitation, like I was in the presence of danger.  I was feeling like I needed to run but I couldn’t move.  I was confused, trembling, and felt like I could faint at any second.

I woke up with my pulse rate in overdrive.  I could see my wife standing beside me.  She said, “Ashley, are you ok”?  I told her yes and asked her where I was at.  She said “You are at Duke University Hospital.  You were diagnosed with heart failure and you just got out of ICU.  You are hooked up to a Bivad machine which is keeping you alive until you can get a heart transplant.”  I was in shock and disbelief and could not believe what was happening to me. The last thing I remembered was that I was at Pardee hospital with pneumonia on November 18, 2012.  It was now December 12, 2012, and I had been in an induced coma for twenty five days.  This was all fresh news to me and I was troubled by it.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of to add comments!



  • Ashley, such a powerful composition! I did not suffer sudden heart failure as you did but there were periods that exist in my memory only as fleeting images that could never be described as vividly as your awesome recollection. I hope everything is well with you now :)

This reply was deleted.

TransplantBuddies & Friends Facebook Group

TransplantBuddies & Friends

My 2nd Heartbeat

Purolator Air Filters


Please Donate for CF Patients

Supplements for CF Patients

Planetary Biosciences



Looking for My Kidney Hero

My dear Friend Susy - a double lung transplant survivor is in need of a Kidney Angel (O positive blood type).  If you can be Susy's Hero- contact her at Thank You So Much!