My story is one of my new life and success. Over a number of years, I developed a severe liver disease. By the summer of 2017, I became severely ill and spent a couple of months in and out of the hospital at the University of Cincinnati. I began the process of being listed with UNOS, a national listing agency. I was placed on the list in September of 2017 and the waiting began. During all the treatments, my kidneys were damaged and only functioning at 30%. It was decided by my liver team and nephrology team that my kidneys would not survive my liver being transplanted and I was put on the list for a double kidney/liver transplant.
From late December until mid-February I became sicker and sicker. I was having fluid drained from both my lungs and abdomen weekly. Suddenly THE DAY arrived and I got THE CALL! On February 14, 2018, I received a call from the hospital staff that they had two organs they thought I could use. There was unbelievable relief, joy, thankfulness, and continued prayers. They started surgery shortly after Midnight that night. With my support team at my side and the work of multiple surgeons, I was in ICU by 9:00 AM. I didn’t fully awaken until Saturday morning, but my husband and sister told me my color looked great immediately when they came into ICU. I was anxious to sit up and after the removal of several tubes, I was allowed to sit up. Later on Friday, I went to a regular room and was taking a couple of steps. Recovery progressed quickly and by Tuesday, I was released from the hospital to go home. After thorough instructions from the pharmacy, nursing, physicians the dietician, I was released. It was so wonderful to get home in my own recliner and my own bed, I couldn’t believe it was happening! My family was at my side for my whole hospital stay.
I have a great deal to be thankful for. My God, my donor and their family, the UCMC liver and kidney transplant teams, my family, my friends who are family, my church, and neighbors. I was told to expect to need assistance at home for 6 weeks and I was independent in 2 weeks. The American Liver Foundation and Donate Life are the organizations that help make these things possible. I call myself a walking miracle. This gift has given me two more years to watch my grandchildren (4 of them) grow and mature and watch their sporting events. With the help of my husband and son, we all took a trip to Disney World. I was able to resume cruising last fall. Each day I wake up thankful to be here. Hopefully, there will be many more days and years to come.