Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Three Rivers - episode 4 review

I did not do a review of the October 18th Three Rivers episode. However, just minutes after this week's (October 25th) episode started, I knew that episode 4 would be a special one. It started off with Dr. Vablonski in the room of a very sick patient. The diagnosis was that he only had days, a week at most to live. He was a 36-year old man whose loving wife was at his side begging and praying for him a new heart. Why was this different from the previous 3 episodes ?? It was because this man was exactly where I was 3 years ago and it brought everything rushing back. It was exactly 3 years ago this coming weekend that I was in the hospital and my wife and I were told by my cardiologist that he had done all he could do. He said without a heart transplant, I would likely be dead in a year. God is good. I had my transplant about 4 months later and ..... I'm still here.

Now for the Three Rivers review. I'll use the same three criteria I used in the previous reviews.
  • truth - based upon my personal experience, the portrayal of what transplant patients experience pre-, during, and post-transplant was accurate. Grade - A.
  • realism - again, based upon my own personal experience, this episode is as real as it gets. The only thing I might take issue with is all the fancy technology that's used - i.e. the large flat screen monitors that are everywhere. I've never seen those, but it's possible they could be used in newer, more technologically advanced hospitals. But, I don't know for sure one way or the other. So, I won't figure it into the grade. Grade - A.
  • positive potrayal of organ donation - CBS nailed it this week !! It was a tragic episode with the school bus accident involving the high school football team. Several of the players and the bus driver died in the crash. However, CBS did a superb job of showing how joy and hope can come from tragedy. The football team's star quarterback died in the accident but was an organ donor. His father says, "They tell me he's gonna save 8 lives. That's my son." Even in tragedy, this father was bragging on his son because he had helped people. This is the EXACT message that the organ donation cause needs conveyed all the time. Grade - A+++++.
BEST PART OF EPISODE - the way the Three Rivers staff cares for their patients. You get the feeling that they will do anything and everything it takes to save their patients. I love that.

WORST PART OF EPISODE - none. CBS finally took out what's been my biggest gripe -putting things in the show that have nothing to do with organ donation. There was nothing like that this week. Thanks CBS.

Overall, the October 25th episode gets an A+. I thought CBS finally hit the home run I had been waiting for. I hope it continues. It was tough to watch at times, too. The 36-year old man waiting for a heart brought back some bad memories of blue and cold hands and feet, chronic fatigue and weekness, shortness of breath, struggling to breathe when lying down to sleep, and a feeling of hopelessness. However, the joy this man's wife showed when told that a heart was available for him was the same that I saw on my wife's face when I woke up for the first time after the surgery. That memory is priceless and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
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