Charles J Laudan (CJ)
Hello! I am going to tell my story a little inside out! Today I am a healthy receiptant of a donated liver. My son who has been my caregiver since 2009 is now an EMT and working on 911 crews with a local ambulance service. He plans to go on to additional training as a paramedic and eventually pursue a nursing degree and train as a trauma nurse and fly as a Flight Nurse.
Currently I am pursing a few of my goals set pre-liver transplant; including Photography, Writing, Recurrency for my Pilot’s License, Building & Learning to Play a Guitar, Ballroom Dancing and of course getting back onto the Golf course! This website is a place to showcase my artwork and become a place holder for my other interests and pursuits.
Also in the works is a Kick Starter project for a children’s book series I am calling “Charley and The Finkeel Fish” I hope to launch by the end of July, with the first of the series out in time for Christmas 2015.
My volunteer efforts include President & Secretary for the VA Loma Linda Liver Support Group, a OneLegacy Ambassador an OPO for the national Donate Life effort and PIO for the Citrus Belt Amateur Radio Club W6JBT.
I am now become a Certified Trainer for Mike Dooley’s Infinite Possibilities – The Art of Living Your Dreams.
Below is a bit of my Journey and Adventure over the last 6-years and back wards. Thank You for visiting Whittlleville and sharing a bit of Your time.
Be well …
In April 2009 my son rushed me to the emergency room after I experienced a Heat Stroke. During the treatment and the 10-day recovery from that episode I was diagnosed with “End Stage” Liver Disease. One of the side effects the side effects in my particular case was lung and abdomen ascites requiring medication and frequent “draining”. I became a patient at the VA Loma Linda Medical Center May 2009. The next few years through November 2012 were filled with regular medical visits, tests and a deteriorating quality of life. I have always been a “Type A” person throughout my military service as well as my Marketing and Sales career within Commercial Industry and Aerospace.
Finally in November 2012 my son & Caregiver and a long time friend & Life Coach sat me down and we had a “fellowship”! Between them, they helped me remember some of my life-time passions; like photography & writing, golf, getting my pilot’s license re-current so I could resume flying. This session and my follow-up soul-searching, help me re-ignite the will to heal and once again embrace life.
My son and I scheduled a visit with my VA GP doctor; who referred me to a VA GI specialist. Once I began visiting with this doctor, he became a real advocate; telling me in February 2013 “… if you plan to attend your grandson’s graduation in a couple of years you best consider a Liver Transplant!” My son and I discussed the risks and I decided going ahead and entering the transplant program was worth the risk.
Throughout March 2013 I went through a “battery” of test and screening interviews at the VA in Loma Linda. In April John and I travel to the Portland VA Medical Center in Portland, OR for a week; so the Liver Transplant Team there could first hand meet us and determine if I/we were a good candidate for their transplant protocol.
In May 2013 I was accepted into the Liver Transplant program; but not yet “listed”. My condition continued to deteriorate and just prior to a schedule visit to the Portland VA for a procedure, I came down with a serious infection requiring a 2-week stay at the Loma Linda VA. On July 4th (Independence Day) I was discharged from Loma Linda VA.
My procedural visit to Portland VA was rescheduled and July 12th John and I met with the staff and my Liver Transplant GI doctor. The day started with lab work. During our first visit, with a Liver Team Nurse Practitioner, I was told “… you were “Listed” on July 5th and you are currently number 4 on the list …” That afternoon when I met with my GI Liver Team Doctor she told me I had been moved to Number 3!! Later that evening the Nurse Fractioned called me to tell me my Meld score was now even worst and the procedure has been cancelled “… your number one on the Type A+ list, standby …”
10-days later I got a 04:30AM call from the Liver Transplant team on call person asking “… we have a liver for you, do you want it?” Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes and regaining some sense to what was being said, I said “… who is this?” and then say “YEAH!!!” Later that day I was in surgery prep and entered surgery late the evening of July 22nd; emerging Tuesday morning July 23rd (new birthday) with the Gift of a donated Liver.
John and I spent the next 3-months at the Vancouver VA recovery Lodge on their campus across the river in Vancouver, WA. We met some wonderful people, with whom we shared daily meals, weekend ventures around the local sites; as well as some of the challenges that can occur during the post op recovery and healing process, both physical and emotional.
I learned the real importance and sacrifice that a Caregiver is to me and others. So part of my healing journey and the committeemen to myself is honoring my life’s passions and this Journey and share with others some of my experiences. Some challenging, some disappointing many rewarding and maybe they will find answers and hope. Today I can also help through the local Southern California OneLegacy Ambassadors Program.
My Background, Education and Hobbies include over 30 years experience developing product applications that have included all account disciplines; purchasing, design & manufacturing engineering through product line & program management. This includes selecting, training and motivating direct technical sales, manufacturer’s representative groups and distributor organizations in the US, Canada and Internationally.
I have applied my application engineering experience that includes developing accounts and custom system solutions within commercial & military aerospace, city, county, state and federal government agencies, including 15-years within the telecommunications industry working with agencies like public safety communications centers, financial institutions, medical institutions where disaster preparedness, life safety and business continuity is essential in the event of a man-made incident or natural disaster.
BSAe (Aeronautical Engineering) – Parks College of St. Louis University
- FAA Commercial Pilot – Aircraft Single & Multi-Engine Land, Instrument
- FAA Mechanic – Airframe & Powerplant
- FCC Amateur Radio – General Class – W6CJL
Honorably separated from USAF July 1976, rank of Captain, with a Top Secret Security Clearance. Responsibilities included Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot C-141. Where I flew world-wide line troop and supply missions including Air Evac. Participated in “Operation Homecoming” supporting returning US Military Service Heroes as they were released from North Vietnam POW camps.
MS Excel, Quarto Pro, MS Word, Word Perfect, Ami Pro, Goldmine, MS Access, Works, Paradox, Outlook, Netscape, Firefox, Windows 2000, Pro, XP Pro Windows 7, QuickBooks Pro, MS Power Point, Photoshop, Website Design, WordPress
Hobbies, Outside Interest & Other Information:
Photography, Golf, Reading, Writing, Sculpture, Woodworking, Amateur Radio and Remolding. • Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) with San Bernardino County OES. • Completed National Emergency Management System (NIMS) – ICS 100, 200, 700, 800, 300 & 400 completed – NIMS Level 3 Certified