2018 LIVEr Champion – Harry Layton
I’ll have my liver with onions….STAT. Hi, I am Harry Layton and I am honored to be the LIVEr Champion for this year’s ALF Walk. Although my need for a transplant came relatively fast, my sense of humor, family and friends got me through. As I look back now, there were numerous signs which even doctors failed to connect to my Liver disease. I had swelling which doctors diagnosed as bad circulation, I had jaundice eyes which went without notice and extension that doctors thought was a hernia. In November 2016, I ended up in the hospital with swelling, dehydration and disoriented behavior. That set forth several months in and out of ICU with severe swelling, fluid in my lungs, sepsis and eventually diagnosis of Cirrhosis. I want to share my story as I know what it feels like to have a diagnosis that you feel you might have done to yourself. It wasn’t until I went to Jackson Memorial that I learned my illness was from a rare inherited disease called Alpha 1 Antitrypsin. Amazing doctors prepared me for my transplant which occurred on April 22nd, 2018. My family will walk with me on December 1st and they have their own stories. Stories of medical advocacy, strength, coordinating schedules so I had someone with me during the most difficult times, and stories of trying to understand what to expect and what was happening. I will be forever grateful to them and my unknown donor. As a survivor, I want to pay it forward with support and hope for families that are dealing with the unknown of the diagnosis, the challenges of treatment and are finding hope in the positive recovery stories of myself and others. My family and I hope to see you at the 2018 Liver Walk!