Jesse Petersen, founder of Genesis The.me and Petersen Media Group, has passed away at the age of 38. Petersen had been battling Cystic Fibrosis for the past several years and suffered a massive lung bleed earlier today. He passed out before paramedics could reach him and could not be revived at the emergency room.
Petersen was on a double-lung transplant list with a lung allocation score of 38.859. The LAS is a score used to prioritize waiting list candidates based on a combination of wait list urgency and post-transplant survival. Last month, Petersen received the phone call he had been waiting for.
— Jesse Ⓦ Petersen (@jpetersen) June 9, 2017
Unfortunately, the lungs were determined not to be in a suitable condition for transplant.
No go. He didn't like the look of the lungs. ? No new lungs for Jesse today. Maybe tonight the phone will ring again.
— Jesse Ⓦ Petersen (@jpetersen) June 9, 2017
He shared his experience in a raw, emotional post that describes the highs and lows he felt that day. “While the day was an emotional roller coaster, with the highs being WAY up there, the lows were surprisingly mild,” Petersen said. “They just weren’t the right lungs, and this protected me from years of issues, so it’s all good. The call for the perfect lungs for me will come in God’s timing. I am content to wait.”
On July 2nd, a patient with a higher LAS score than Petersen’s was taken into surgery to receive a double-lung transplant. This made Petersen the highest priority pending a match was found but a match wasn’t found in time.
She was taken into surgery at noon, Tampa time. Surgery is 6-12 hours. I'm very happy for her because her need was more than twice mine.
— Jesse Ⓦ Petersen (@jpetersen) July 2, 2017
I did not have the opportunity to meet him in person. From those who knew him personally, Petersen was a great husband, father, and a caring individual who despite his medical situation, would help out the best way he could. There are two stories that highlight the kind of person he was. The first is a Twitter thread he published two days ago.
When you meet a 5 year-old who needs a heart and double-lung transplant but has been turned down everywhere, your situation doesn’t seem so bad. That family doesn’t care about politics, social class, keeping up with the Joneses, or whether their clothes match. They are enjoying life.
Because when it comes down to it, all we really need is to know our worth and love everyone else because they have equal worth. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with everyone, but you don’t have to seek out opposition or turmoil. Random acts of kindness rock.
Can you look over your life and say you’d be leaving those connected to you better off having known you? If not, start today.
The second is from his Facebook account about an encounter he had with a mother pushing her small boy in a wheelchair with a surgical mask on.
I finally got out of the house to go do a God & Country service followed by fireworks. While waiting to go outside, a mom I’d seen pushing a small boy in a wheelchair with a surgical mask and oxygen on him came over to me.
‘I just wanted to say how cool I think your double tank cart is. I’m going to call my supplier tomorrow to get one for our wheelchair.’
We started talking (most unlike me) and she said her son needed a heart and a double lung transplant… but they’ve been turned down everywhere, starting with the very forgiving Pittsburgh center.
‘I’m so sorry.’
[nodded her head with a pained look] ‘We’re just making the most of our time now.’
My heart broke. I’ve already lived 7 of his lifetimes. I’ve played sports, graduated from college, stood on the equator, married my best friend, and have two healthy boys.
So kick me the next time I complain about my wait, OK?
Members of the WordPress community are using social media to share memories, grieve, and pass along condolences to his family.
— David Bisset (@dimensionmedia) July 5, 2017
RIP @jpetersen, you were a great friend, and co-host. Gonna miss the great convos we had.
— The WP Crowd (@thewpcrowd) July 5, 2017
Met @jpetersen on multiple occasions. Family man and proud dad. Always respected the hell outta that. See you on the flip side, buddy.
— Jared Atchison (@jaredatch) July 5, 2017
Terrible news, @jpetersen will be missed. CF takes too many, too soon. Rest in peace, buddy.
— Brian Krogsgard (@Krogsgard) July 5, 2017
Petersen’s family has created a crowd-funding campaign to help offset funeral and medical expenses. Since its creation, the community has donated more than $12K of $20K. If you are able, please consider donating as Petersen was the sole provider of income for his family.
My deepest condolences go out to his friends and family. Petersen is survived by his wife and two sons.