Transplant Recipient - Organ
My personal life was pretty normal. I'm married, I have a career and outside interests and I'm active in the church. But one day my normal routine was impacted and changed forever.
My liver failed suddenly in 2009 due to acetaminophen poisoning, which essentially killed my liver. My wife and advocate convinced the liver transplant team to place me on the transplant list, even though my chances to survive were slim. Once I was placed on the list, my wife was told that I had 72 hours to receive a transplant.
I was wheeled into surgery in less than 48 hours but the transplant did not occur because I was too unstable. This liver was not wasted but was sent on to the next recipient on the transplant list.
The surgeon came into the waiting room to tell my wife the bad news. Michele asked the surgeon what options there were to save my life. The surgeon said he could remove my liver with the hope that I would stabilize. Then I would be able to receive a liver for a transplant. Michele chose that option knowing it was my only hope for survival. She was then told that I had 48 hours to receive the second liver transplant. My wife, my family, friends and even people I didn't know, prayed to St. Rita, Saint of the Impossible, for the impossible to happen. Beyond medicine, beyond reason, I received a liver and was successfully transplanted in the eleventh hour of the fifth day.
Michele & I are beyond thankful that I'm here today to lead a normal and productive life. My "Second Chance" has changed my perspective in life. What is important now is very different from what was important before my transplant. Now I'm involved in the transplant community, a volunteer at the OPO and my transplant hospital. Also, my wife and I founded a Maryland Chapter of TRIO (Transplant Recipients International Organization) to support others making the transplant journey. It is now an important & necessary part of my life to be an active member of the transplant community.