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Betty, Liver Recipient
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After many months (1993/1994) of being very fatigued, much swelling, just really feeling lousy and many different types of medical test, I was informed I had contracted Hepatitis C (a disease at that time that was really still an unknown).
After all the normal questions of "HOW" could I have come in contact with this Blood Disease, the question about blood transfusions was asked. Oh yes, one time, one pint, 13 years prior I had received a blood transfusion and unbeknown to anyone was contaminated with Hepatitis C.
My local Internist referred me to Jewish Hospital where they had a Hepatitis C Specialist. I was put on a low sodium diet, two different diuretics, limited intake of fluids, monthly lab work, Home Health monitoring and the mind blowing thought of a Liver Transplant in probably 3 to 5 years.
The day in January 1997, came when I was placed on the Organ Transplant Waiting List. That year I continued on as I had the past 3 years but with a pager waiting for "the call" but receiving nothing but wrong numbers. I finally gave the pager to my husband, I couldn't handle any more wrong numbers.
In December 1997, I went to the Corporate Office for the Industry I was employed and unbeknown to me there was a virus going around the Plant. I returned home and within a week I was running a 104 temperature which caused my liver to start shutting down. Within another week I had starting retaining fluid on my abdomen and had to have it drained several times the following 6 weeks. Then the fluid started collecting on my right lung and I could barely breathe. After almost a week of being treated incorrectly locally I headed to Jewish Hospital Emergency Room, where the wrong treatment was corrected then the correct treatment began.
In 1998 I was in and out of Jewish Hospital many, many times having thoracentesis performed plus the month of June treatment for pneumonia. Then the last Thursday in July my Home Health Nurse came in, determined my vitals were horrible and immediately started making contacts to get me to Jewish Hospital. Prepared for me when I arrived and treatment started immediately then my Doctors/Nurses had me back on my feet by Sunday but I was informed I was not to leave the 6th Floor, not even to walk. Never, ever in the previous months had I been told "NO" to walking pedways, sidewalks, or even going over to the Parks. This was very hard to handle.
But Monday at midnight two nurses came into my room and informed my husband and I they thought they had my liver...go back to sleep, there was still some testing to do (haha). Tuesday 7:00 a.m., August 4th, 1998, they came to get me to prep for my liver transplant. They tell me the nurses kept everyone informed during transplant and my Doctor came out, 9 hours later, to tell them everything went great, my transplanted liver started functioning right there on the table and they could see me shortly.
I did not regain consciousness until Friday morning the 7th in the ICU...I felt great!!! Ten days after transplant I was home and I have the best liver anyone could ever ask for. I have witnessed both of my children get married, I have been enjoying my 4 grandchildren plus 3 more adopted grandchildren. Life is "GREAT"...PRAISE GOD!!!
I started volunteering about 2 years after transplant promoting Organ Donor Awareness, Organ Donor Registry, Organ Donor License plates and participating in the Transplant Games, where I won third place in the 5K in Louisville, Kentucky (my home away from home)
Donor/ Donor Family
When my husband, Bobby and I signed up to be organ donors it never entered our minds that one of us would need an organ transplant. In 2000 Bobby became very ill and was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, an autoimmune liver disease, and would need a liver transplant. He waited four years and we finally multi-listed him with more than one transplant center. UNOS policy permits patients to be considered for organs that become available in other areas by being evaluated and listed at more than one center. This may reduce your waiting time in some cases, but not always. Each center has its own criteria for listing transplant candidates, and each center can refuse to evaluate patients seeking to list at multiple centers. However, if you have been listed at one center for more than a year, inform your primary center that you are going to mult-list in other regions.
Bobby received his first transplant at the University of Cincinnati on 2/4/2004 and his second one 8/26/2011. He was so very grateful to his donors and when he passed away in 2011 his wishes were carried out to be a tissue donor.
I have been involved in Second Chance at Life since 2000 and love the Second Chance “family.” I have always been proud to be a part of our float during the Pegasus Parade. I am also involved in the KODA Family Donor Council, and love spreading the word about the importance of organ donation to anyone who will listen.
As they say, “Don’t take your organs to Heaven, Heaven knows we need them here!”
Cathy Mattingly & Vicky Doyle
Donor Moms of
Carissa Foushee & Mary Ladd
Each saved 3 lives
We met at a KODA training and have been the best of friends since. We lost our daughters exactly one year to the day. Vicky knew my daughter but I did not know her. I read about her daughters death in the obituaries in our county paper. The date and age really stood out. I knew I had to contact her. I wrote her a letter, I cannot tell you what I said but I cried the entire time writing it. We work hard in our County to promote and educate on the Importance of organ donation. We are also on the Donor Family Council and huge supporters for Team Kentucky. Not only did our daughters save 3 lives each but they saved our lives by bringing us together. EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE AN ORGAN DONOR!