A Norman man is saying thanks for the small things in life this week.
Brandon Berry's heart is failing after a virus attacked his body four years ago.
Berry, 34, now needs a heart transplant, and his family is still holding onto hope.
“I’ll just say I’m still thankful to be alive,” he said.
Berry's his heart is weak, but his spirit is strong. It helps to have his wife Jamie by his side.
“You don’t have any energy,” he explains, with Jamie adding, “which is sad because he loved to play with Phillip, our son. He’s two, so he runs everywhere.”
Phillip spent Thanksgiving with his grandparents and cousins, but with Brandon's heart functioning at just 10 percent now, he and Jamie had to stay home for the holiday. They had a small meal to celebrate before Jamie clocked in at her job at the Norman Transcript, where she feels supported.
“When I’ve had to call and say hey, I can’t come in to work because we’re in the hospital, things like that,” she said, “and his boss said well, you can’t work in this state, so just come back when you’re ready, so thankful for that.”
Berry misses his creative freedom. He is a graphic designer. Now, his low energy keeps him from concentrating long enough to even play video games.
In the four years since he was first diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, Berry has learned to look on the bright side.
“I was really depressed at one point, and once I got that attitude change I just started feeling better,” he said.
He will keep pushing as long as his heart does. Then, he will need a transplant. The National Foundation for Transplants is raising money for the surgery, which could cost up to $1 million.
In the meantime, the Berrys are thankful for each day.
“It’s been a realization to just live every day to the fullest now,” Berry said. “(You) really don’t know how much longer you might have.”
They hope there are many more to come. To contribute to Brandon’s transplant fund, click here.