"Drs have accepted a heart. Goin in for surgery around noon."
The text message came from Stavroula's mom at 6:54 AM.
I raced to the hospital and was able to see my best friend before she went in.
I watched her sign the consent form, as she gave the surgeon instructions of where to put her icon of Saint Savva.
Stavroula took a leap of faith yesterday.
The 12 hours we spent waiting- counting each time the door opened- hoping it was one of the surgeons with an update- that was the part that tested our faith.
A priest, another friend, that sweet lady from church who passes the money tray around- each visitor another voice begging God for a miracle.
5:46 PM: Stavroula's surgeon, Dr. Alfred Asante-Korang walked in.
"Everything is going nice in there," he said, "you guys keep your prayers. The heart will be here soon."
This was Stavroula's third heart transplant since she was born - a risky surgery according to several top hospitals across the nation that denied her requests for treatment.
I left the waiting room to walk around, and heard Stavroula's yiayia (grandmother), reading a prayer in Greek.
"Yperaghia Theotoke soson imas," she said with reverence, standing next to the window by the elevators.
Stavroula made it through the surgery.
She slept through the night with no complications.
At one point they woke her up to see if she was alert and then put her back to sleep.
"It's better that way, so she doesn't feel the pain and keeps the anxiety under control," her mom said in a text message today.
They're going to wean her off the breathing machine and wake her up tonight.
She still has a long way to go, but my best friend is alive.
May God give her strength.
Visiting Stavroula in the weeks before her transplant