The following information was provided to local media by Frank Buckley and J.C. Marketing Associates of Wakefield:
When Wakefield native Frank Buckley was in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital for five months awaiting his second heart transplant in 15 years, he had a lot of time to think – and reflect – about the sacrifices others were making on his behalf. Most notably, the commitment and dedication of his wife of 24 years, Colleen; his three children: Morgan, Megan and Frankie; the support and love of his extended family and friends; and the unwavering support of his co-workers from the Town of Wakefield.
He also had a chance to reflect not only on how fragile life is, but also on how wonderful that life can be, even when, as in the words of his daughter Morgan, things are far from perfect.
Frank knew that if a suitable donor was found and he received a new heart, he would have to rely on his strength, resilience and a positive attitude to carry him along the arduous road he had ahead of him. He knew that road would include rehabilitation, regaining his strength and visits to medical professionals for many years to come.
But he also knew that the road he would follow may be filled with financial uncertainty until he could get back on his feet – physically and financially. Frank and his family had already started to feel the effects of his illness shortly after Christmas when the weather was cold and heating bills at home began to soar.
Just before Frank’s transplant on January 31st, 2013, the hospital staff told him about John Morelli, founder of the Transplant Foundation of New England and a heart and liver transplant recipient, and his newly-founded organization to help patients like Frank and their families. They explained to Frank that the foundation was there for him and others throughout the transplant process.
When Frank spoke to John and explained that the heating bill was more than they could handle and that funds were running low, the foundation gave the family the money to pay the bill without hesitation.
Now that Frank is on the road to recovery with the new heart beating in his chest, he knows how important that gesture was to him and his family. And now he wants to pay it forward by getting the word out about the Transplant Foundation of New England.
“Each of us, including my dad understands that we are not the first family to experience something like this, and we certainly won’t be the last,” 22-year old Morgan said in a story she wrote for the foundation’s website. “For this reason, it is important that our story be told to benefit any family who may be experiencing a similar situation.”
“We hope that sharing our present circumstances will bring some amount of optimism to those experiencing, or will experience, the transplant process at some point.”
For information on how to get involved in the Transplant Foundation of New England, and to make a donation to help families like the Buckleys, visit www.transplantfoundationofnewengland.org, or call them at 781-519-0447. All donations help meet the needs of New England transplant candidates and their families by providing financial assistance and an unprecedented level of support, thereby alleviating some financial worries and enabling families to focus their time and energy on recovery and returning to a normal life.