A Miracle

I received my transplant from a hospital in  Florida that was about 3 1/2 hours away from where I live.

My wife and I were going up there and thought that everything was going fine. Then they told me they had to take me off the transplant list because my sodium levels were too low. So they put me in the hospital for a week to raise my levels. It was the following Saturday that they release me but it was late in the day. So we stayed overnight and left out the next morning. Knowing that they just put me back on the transplant list and it was a long drive so we decided to wait until morning to fill the car up with gas. So Sunday night we went to bed knowing that we have to fill the tank in the morning and get a change of clothes packed up in case we got a phone call.

At 11:30 Sunday night we received a phone call that they had a liver ready for transplant. If I could get there before four in the morning? We cross our fingers  took off for  the next gas station and headed out. My wife made a 3 1/2 hour trip in 2 1/2 hours. Now they tell you when you’re on the transplant list, it’s up to the doctor if he going to do the transplant or not. So you can be on the operating table and if the doctor doesn’t like the look of the liver he will turn you away. I was lucky and the doctor like the look of the liver and was going to do the transplant. When they took me into the operating room the doctor was still getting the other liver ready. There was a little half wall between me and the doctor. So I was able to talk to the doctor and ask him how things were going. He said things were going fine but it’s time for you to go to sleep. When I woke up I had a new liver.

The liver transplant surgery lasted hours.  While I was asleep on the table, my family was in the surgery waiting room with lots of other families.  The surgeon would have one of his nurses call up to the waiting room ever couple of hours to let them know how I was doing.  At the end of the surgery, the surgeon did come up to tell my family that the surgery had gone well.  First time in hours that my wife was able to breathe easily.

Now when you get a new liver it doesn’t work right away. It’s got to thaw first. They do that by attaching it to your blood system. This allows your blood to slowly warm your liver. So even after the operation they won’t know for sure if it works for two or three days.During this time they will be taking out the drainage tubes. As soon as they get the tubes out, they will get you back on your feet. Then you will have to go to the  bathroom.This will become a strange part of your life because everybody is  checking to see if you past urine and had a bowel movement. These become the most important things in your life. Without them you cannot go home.