Cullum receives the gift of life
In the normal routine of life, a year can be a short period of time. When a person is fighting health issues and waiting for a possible cure, the same 12 months can turn into what seems like an eternity. Terry Cullum and his wife, Ruth, can say the fight has been worth it since he is now recovering from a liver transplant.
Terry Cullum, 60, of Jonesboro, formerly of Monette, was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver a year ago in April. He was told he would have a 50/50 chance of living two years without a liver transplant. With the support of his family, friends and doctors, he has battled the disease, endured the ups and downs, and worked hard to hold on to the hope the call would come in time for him to receive a transplant.
Shortly after Cullum was diagnosed, he was denied being put on the transplant list.
The family gives thanks to a wonderful doctor at the Veteran's Hospital for his efforts in helping Cullum to become stable and placed on the transplant list.
April is Organ Donor Awareness Month and Cullum's family now realizes the importance of letting people know how their ultimate gift of being an organ donor offers hope and life.
Easter weekend 2009 will always be a time of rejoicing for Cullum and his family as the waiting came to an end and Cullum underwent surgery on Saturday, April 11, at the Methodist Hospital in Memphis.
Cullum had come close to receiving a transplant twice before. His call came at 2:30 a.m. and the family arrived hopeful this time. Cullum told his family, the third time is a charm and he proved to be right.
Ironically, Mrs. Cullum had told her daughters and family members a month ago, she was confident her husband would have his transplant on April 10. Her prediction proved to be only hours away from the time.
The Cullum family is very thankful to the Lord for the miracle of life he has received. If all goes well he will be returning to his home later this week.
Cullum is a native of Monette, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Gail Cullum. For years he owned and operated a grocery business, Terry's Lucky Foods, in Monette. He worked as a manager for WalMart for 18 years. Mr. and Mrs. Cullum now own and operate Superior Senior Care where they see to the needs of senior citizens.
They are the parents of two daughters, Melanie Sparkman of Jonesboro and Jenny Salyers of Houston, Texas, and two sons, Bradley and Daniel, both of Jonesboro. They have four grandchildren.
Mrs. Cullum has kept family and friends updated on their journey through a website, caringbridge.com/visit/terrycullum. It has also been a good way for them to get encouraging comments from their family and friends.
Mr. Cullum is looking forward to being home and the family is planning a community fish fry in Monette this fall to celebrate life with their friends and family.