April 2nd, 2009 Luncheon: Guest Speaker Mark Tondrenlt

 This week’s guest speaker: Mark Tondrenlt, the “Miracle Man”

Mark Tondrenlt and host Jay Severance:camera-download-010609-084

 Mark was given the title “Miracle Man” by his doctors. In May of 2007, he was admitted to the ICU at Jacksonville Beaches Hospital.  There was a lot of hurry up and wait. The doctors told Mark and Eileen that his kidneys had shut down and he needed a new liver.   Doctors told them they could only buy him time.  Mark was swelling from all the medication; his skin and eyes were turning yellow.  Now the doctors were worried about his heart because his body was retaining fluids.  His blood pressure was crashing and the doctors were afraid of heart failure.  He started dialysis; the doctors were still experimenting with different drug cocktails. Mark had faith in his doctors. The doctors had expected him to go into a coma.  Mark tried to keep his mind busy, focusing on what the doctors were telling him and dealing with the insurance company.  

The doctors had given him two weeks to live; it was a good thing because he was so tired.  But something happened that weekend, Mark decided after looking at the pain in his wife’s eyes, he wasn’t going to give- up, he was going to fight to the end.  Mark asked God for just one more year, praying he would be able to help others through what he had experienced.  After 34 days at the Beaches Hospital, Mark walked out; feeling he had been reborn.

But the fight was not over: on November 17, 2007 Mark was admitted to Shands Hospital, to receive a new liver.  Then the doctors discovered that Mark would also need a heart operation. The doctors agreed to do both operations.  Mark spent 85 days at Shands, but walked out the doors! Mark had many complications and is still going thru tests.

Mark had been given two weeks, but through many prayers and the skill of his doctors, has lived two more years.  He plans to live life as well as he is able and be an inspiration to others.

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