Expected to die after two years, one mother has fought through seven, teaching her family and friends what it means to hope.
By Kaelyn Trapp
The diagnosis was in July 2010, and the fate was devastating. A wife and mother of three under the age of eleven received the news of two years left. Everything seemed to be crushed. Why this family? Why this mother?
Pulmonary Hypertension is a rare type of blood pressure where arteries tend to narrow and start blockage, which then overworks the heart and damages the lungs. Medication is pumped through the body to minimize the symptoms of the disease and fight against the disease itself. Yet, there is no cure. The disease is tremendously rare, she would have a better chance getting struck by lightning.
March 2018. Seven years later. Still living. Still fighting with joy. Still holding onto hope.
Over the years life has changed dramatically. New challenges come, but with that, new experiences also come. Life somehow became more meaningful, for the mother and the family.
There’s no energy to be wasted in her, but still bed ridden most days because of disease and medication. She still loves with a joyous heart, continues to spend time with her kids, is consistent in bonding with her family and everything else that matters. She treasures the little things she enjoys in life, like mystery shows, tapioca pudding, and Tucker the dog.
Medication is consistently being ingested into body. Putting the medication together in the home is a task but it must be done. Trips down to Denver are normal, at least every six months but every two to three months when the disease worsens. Seven years ago, before the diagnosis, she was working as a registered nurse with 12-hour shifts, and enjoying outside activities with her kids, like hiking, going to the park, and bike rides.
However, after the diagnosis she changed to a nursing instructor as she was not able to be as active. Activities with her kids changed over the years as energy for physical activities got lower and lower. Over the years life has changed dramatically. New challenges come, but with that, new experiences also come. Life somehow became more meaningful, for the mother and the family.
Seven years ago, this mother started noticing symptoms but blamed it on a sinus infection. Although, she did say, “I always felt just one breath behind.” With the medication, the condition got better until mid 2015 when the disease started to progress again. Now in 2018 the condition is worse; the mother has been on oxygen since September 2016, which suggested that the lungs were starting to fail. March 2018, the disease is still horrific with talk about a lung transplant, which is now the best option. The mother has survived seven years, more than her life expectancy.
This isn’t just another life story, this is a story of hope, courage, and miracles.
This mother is Kari Lynn Trapp, this is my mother. My mother has been fighting for seven years and still always provides encouragement to others and still loves with all her heart. My mother’s body has changed physically, her daily routines have shifted tremendously, and she has held fast to her God more than ever. Though my mother’s lungs have started to give up, and any sort of activity seems to be a task, my mother has held onto the greatest of all hopes and has battled for herself. She has taught us that everyday matters, even if it’s a bad day. She also tells us that we don’t get to say never, because there is hope.
This isn’t just another life story, this is a story of hope, courage, and miracles. This story, and millions more around the world, speak of battling illness and fighting for a better future. All the cancer patients, all the rare disease patients, and all the patients with their own story speak of something the rest of us cannot understand. They speak of holding onto hope, even when all else feels lost. Especially when all else feels lost. Those who fight their own battles have given the rest of us hope as well as courage to live our own lives.
Isn’t that what we all need, a little bit of courage, and a whole lot of hope?
Photo: Total Solar Eclipse 2017 by Mark Moschell on Flickr