A lesson in patience

Good things come to those who wait.

Eldon and LuAnn DeWild have seen the benefits of waiting, even if their story involves some frustration and sadness.

Almost a year ago, Eldon found out he needed a lung transplant. Since then, the Hull couple has described their life as a roller coaster ride as they struggle through medical bureaucracy, health problems and having their hopes for a quick solution denied. But they also agree the blessings have far outweighed the challenges.

Eldon, 53, has been diagnosed with antisynthetase syndrome, a chronic autoimmune condition that affects muscles and other parts of the body; and pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease that occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred. This thickened, stiff tissue makes it difficult for lungs to work properly. As the disease worsens, patients become progressively short of breath. It is very common in patients with antisynthetase syndrome.

The exact underlying cause of both is unknown.

Eldon’s pulmonary fibrosis was identified 10 years ago. The antisynthetase was discovered last October. For the past two years, he’s needed oxygen for breathing.

After the antisynthetase syndrome diagnosis, doctors at the V.A. hospital in Sioux Falls suggested he begin the process to get a lung transplant.

During 2017, Eldon was hospitalized three times with pneumonia; been tested by doctors in three hospitals — Sioux Falls, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Madison, Wisconsin — and had to quit his job. He’s no longer able to work.

But Eldon and LuAnn, married 26 years with two sons, Matt and Josh, still see positive sides these of events.

As a veteran, Eldon is eligible for V.A. healthcare.

“The V.A. hospitals and doctors have been super,” declared LuAnn. “They’ve helped Eldon get a scooter, lift chair and wheelchair and the people who work in the hospitals are great people. They’ve had a positive impact on his health and his attitude.”

Last February the DeWilds began working with the V.A. hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, hoping to be placed on atransplant list. At the end of March they traveled to Madison and Eldon underwent a week of testing and appointments. Then more tests were needed after they returned home.

Their hopes were high.

Weeks of waiting followed. Some tests were positive and suggested Eldon would be placed on the transplant list, but one showed his heart was not healthy.

Finally, on July 7, they received news that Eldon had been denied for a lung transplant from Madison.

“It was very disappointing news for us after the long wait but we weren’t ready to give up,” said LuAnn. “Our doctors in Sioux Falls right away sent Eldon’s information to another transplant hospital in Seattle.”

By the end of July, they had a teleconference with doctors in Seattle and two weeks ago received good news from the transplant coordinator. They’d been invited to meet with doctors in that hospital with the hope of Eldon receiving a lung transplant in Seattle.

Their appointment is Sept. 17 and, if all goes well, they will stay in that city and wait for an available lung.

The couple is filled with hope again, but this time they have a different perspective.

“When we thought we were going to Madison, I had everything planned,” said LuAnn. “But my way wasn’t God’s way. I’ve learned to relax more and take things as they come and wait on God’s will.”

“Waiting was good for us,” added Eldon. “It has helped us get a better idea of the brevity of life.”

Because they were in Hull for the summer, Eldon was able to participate in the ceremony for his son, Josh, when he graduated from the South Dakota State Patrol.

The couple has purchased a cemetery plot, chosen a stone and made funeral preparations.

“These are things we could do together so I’m not leaving the burden to one person,” said Eldon.

They’ve also been overjoyed by the support of family, neighbors and the community.

“Most of the year has been a huge blessing,” said LuAnn. “We’ve learned patience and thankfulness. We’ve seen God answer so many prayers.”

And there is hope for the future.

“I know that if I get a transplant, organ rejection is always an issue,” explained Eldon. “But I am looking forward to feeling better and freedom from being hooked to an oxygen tank all the time.

“But what happens, happens. We’ve learned to take one day at a time and depend on God.”

Eldon’s story is chronicled on caringbridge.org.

Comments are closed.

  • New name, same face at Scott’s Auto Repair

    September 13th, 2017
    by

    New signs replaced old ones on the former C&K Repair business in Hull last weekend. The business has been renamed Scott’s Auto Repair. Owner Scott Hansmann said, “I want customers to know that it’s a completely new business and not to expect what it used to be.”


    Bonestroos purchase Electric Beach

    September 13th, 2017
    by

    For Stephanie Bonestroo, owning Electric Beach is a perfect fit. But the new owner of the tanning salon in Hull had no idea it would be as much fun as it is.


    Koele Inc. to celebrate 50 years

    September 13th, 2017
    by

    Koele Inc. staff is excited to be celebrating 50 years in business. On Wednesday, Sept. 20, a free picnic supper will be served in Westside Park in Hull from 5-7 p.m. Door prizes will also be given away to help celebrate the occasion.


    New administrator expects changes

    September 6th, 2017
    by

    Brian Reindl began his career as administrator at Pleasant Acres Care Center Aug. 7. The 26-year-old Minnesota native isn’t new to nursing homes; he was an interim administrator at a couple struggling nursing homes in Minnesota where his job was to turn them around and make them successful.


    Hull Christian School enrollment increases

    September 6th, 2017
    by

    Hull Christian School started the year on a positive note, with enrollment numbers higher than they’ve been in more than 20 years.


  • Vissers ride out Hurricane Harvey

    September 6th, 2017
    by

    When Evan and Tamyres Visser bought a house in the Houston, Texas, area two years ago, they looked for a nice neighborhood, close to work and near a good school.


    Collins named economic development director

    August 30th, 2017
    by

    The Hull City Council recently voted to hire Jim Collins to fill the position of economic development director for the city. The job includes promoting growth of any commercial or residential development in the community and maintaining contact with local businesses and prospects outside Hull.


    Eekhoff joins Kids’ Club

    August 30th, 2017
    by

    After teaching in elementary schools 27 years, Sylvia Eekhoff still loves working with young children. And even though she’s been retired six years, the Hull resident couldn’t resist the opportunity to step into a new position as assistant director at Kids’ Club.


    Veterans honored on Honor Flight trip

    August 30th, 2017
    by

    A recognition banquet at Calico Skies Winery near Inwood, Iowa, Monday evening, Aug. 21, served as a send-off for 85 war veterans and their guardians before leaving on Honor Flight Mission #1 to Washington, D.C. the next morning.


    Dreise named Pizza Ranch manager

    August 23rd, 2017
    by

    As new general manager of Hull Pizza Ranch, Bill Dreise is exactly where he wants to be. He and his wife, Darci, have lived and worked in a lot of different communities but Sioux County was always home.


  • [Advertisement.]
  • What’s Happening

    Wolfpack go 3-3 again at Bellevue, Nebraska tournament

    BELLVUE, NEB-Class 2A second-ranked Western Christian always uses the Bellevue West volleyball tournament in Bellevue, Nebraska, as an early-season measuring stick to figure out what to work on for the rest of the regular season.

    Comets come up short to Lions in three sets

    HULL-Boyden-Hull played a tough two sets against Central Lyon in Siouxland Conference volleyball Thursday, Sept. 7, but the Comets could not dig themselves out of early holes in each set and were swept 25-21, 25-23, 25-16.

    Local teams compete in second meet of the 2017 season

    Sibley-Ocheyedan cross-country meet Local teams compete in second meet of the 2017 season Both Wolfpack teams claim third-place finishes, Lizzy Blum of the Nighthawks takes first individual meet title, Tiger boys