“We are indescribably grateful for the Howie’s House and how positively it has affected the outcome of our situation. Without the Howie’s House, it would have been very difficult for Ash to be with me every single day, both financially and logistically. Without her unyielding emotional support and care, I wouldn’t be as well off as I am today. Guaranteed. And without the support and the positive environment of the Howie’s House, Ash wouldn’t have been as available and emotionally present for me. The Howie’s House truly is a ‘home away from home’!” – Bobby Adams
On March 20, 2015, Bobby and Ashley Adams of Bordentown, NJ were newly married and Bobby had just received his precious gift of life, a double lung transplant. Yet there were many events that led to these miraculous events.
Bobby Adams grew up with the privilege of enjoying a healthy, care-free lifestyle. He had always enjoyed doing things outdoors, such as camping, hiking, snowboarding, and mountain biking. In January of 2015, that came to an abrupt and unexpected halt. Bobby started feeling very sick and, with symptoms only worsening, Ashley took him to the local emergency room. Neither of them had any idea that Bobby would be hospitalized for the next three and a half months – the majority of which were in critical condition.
When Bobby was first admitted to the hospital, he was quickly intubated and placed on a ventilator for life support. His lungs were failing, fast. The cause of his lung failure was unexpected.
After being diagnosed with Acute Interstitial Pneumonia and ARDS, Bobby was placed on ECMO, an additional type of life support, which oxygenates the blood. He was then placed into a drug-induced coma while doctors worked around the clock to try to save his life. While in this coma, doctors broke the news to Ashley that Bobby’s only chance at survival would be to receive a double lung transplant.
Ashley felt like she was living a nightmare. Nothing felt real. Within a few days of being informed about the need for Bobby to receive a transplant, a social worker at the hospital told her about Gift of Life Howie’s House. She didn’t know much about the Howie’s House at the time, but she knew she was grateful to not have to pay thousands of dollars for a hotel room in the city with her mom, or sleep on a friend’s couch anymore. The Howie’s House was a very affordable alternative. What she quickly learned, however, is that besides not having to worry about the expense of lodging, the Howie’s House also provided her with hot meals, cooked by people who really wanted to help, rides to and from the hospital, and the opportunity to meet some amazing people who understood the frightening reality of what Ashley was dealing with; including House guests, volunteers, and staff.
The 2015 Gift of Life Howie’s House President’s Reception took place the same day that Bobby was listed for a lung transplant. At that time, Ashley and her mom were in attendance at the reception as Howie’s House guests. For this year’s President’s Reception – honoring the Founders’ Circle and 2015 Family Circle members – Ashley and Bobby were invited back to the house – not only to share their incredible story with event attendees, but also to celebrate their one year wedding anniversary and Bobby’s first ‘Transplant-a-versary’. They were honored to be there with some of the most generous supporters of the Howie’s House and to share the miraculous conclusion of their incredible transplant journey.
Just two days after being listed for a transplant, Ashley and Bobby decided to get married right then and there, bedside in the hospital ICU. Moments before their wedding ceremony, doctors came in to the room to give them the incredible news: they had a prospective donor for Bobby! After everything that had happened in the months leading up to this point, for two such miraculous things to happen in one day seemed to Ashley a sign that everything would be okay after all.
Ashley and Bobby couldn’t have been happier on that particular day in March of 2015. Within a few days, Bobby had a new bride, new lungs, a new life. Bobby is now back to work, grateful for a little more normalcy and enjoying many of the things he still loves to do. All the while, the newlyweds are incredibly grateful for Bobby’s donor and his family for making the selfless decision to choose organ donation, which allowed for Bobby’s life-saving transplant. And the couple is also indescribably grateful for the Howie’s House and how it positively affected the outcome of their situation – and which is only made possible by all of its wonderful supporters, especially its generous Founders’ and Family Circle members.