Patrick Holland had to fly from Fairbanks, Alaska to Seattle for a heart transplant. After flights were canceled on Friday, he missed his chance for a new heart.
SEATTLE. Patrick Holland had to fly from Fairbanks, Alaska to Seattle for a heart transplant. He was 1,500 miles away from a second chance at a longer life, but due to hundreds of cancellations at Sea-Tac on Friday, his heart went to the next person on the list.
“It’s scary because your body says, ‘Come on, come on,’ but your heart says, ‘No,’” said Patrick Holland.
Holland is battling congestive heart failure and was listed as an active transplant three weeks ago.
“I can’t wait for the day I get my transplant and enjoy life again,” Holland said.
Last Thursday evening he received a call from the University of Washington Heart Institute and was told that the heart was becoming available to him. The news caused a storm of emotions.
“I went from fear to excitement, to the possibility of getting 10, 20, maybe even 30 years,” Holland said.
Holland said doctors in Seattle gave him an eight-hour window to get to the hospital, and he booked a ticket for the next flight.
It was a call he didn’t expect so soon. When he arrived at Fairbanks Airport, his overnight flight to Seattle was cancelled. Holland told an Alaska Airlines agent his story, and they put him on the next flight.
After four hours in the air, an unexpected announcement came, Holland said.
“I heard the pilots cheer for Anchorage,” Holland said.
The flight had to be changed because an ice storm put all Sea-Tac flights on hold. After three canceled flights to Anchorage, the window for a new heart has closed.
“I think I cried more that day than I have in my entire life, and showed all the emotions that I have never had,” Holland said.
Then he took that pain and turned it into something positive.
“To get rid of this fear, I immediately said: ‘Thank God, there will be a family that will save someone’s father, save someone’s brother, save someone, someone’s uncle,’” Holland said.
Holland is the father of seven children, and the age of his children ranges from three to 36 years. He joked that he wanted more.
“I was born into a large family, so I always told my wife that I would like to have 10 children,” Holland said. She said, “Maybe if you get a new heart.”
For them, he keeps hope and looks forward to the days when he can play more with them.
“I’ve had an amazing 17 years with my wife and my kids, and the opportunity to watch the next two graduates would be phenomenal,” Holland said. , it will be a miracle.”
Holland’s suitcase is packed and he plans to arrive in Seattle in two weeks. He is trying to find a place to stay so as not to miss another opportunity for a new heart.
“I’ll be closer, there won’t be storms to stop me,” Holland said. “It will take a completely different act of God to stop me.”