My Life as a Second Time Liver Transplant Recipient: Patient Voices

Hello pre‐ and post‐liver transplant patients. I am a 24 year old mother of a beautiful, healthy three year old boy. I am also a post‐liver transplant recipient, not only for the first time, but for the second.

I was born with a condition called biliary atresia and the doctors said I would never make it to the age of seven but I fought. I fought for my life until I reached the age of fifteen which is when I received my first liver transplant. It was quite an experience to remember. Actually having a liver transplant is an experience you will never forget.

My recovery was fairly painful and interesting too. It was tiring because I had to juggle school (I had home schooling), my clinic visits (which were every week at first then every two weeks depending on my blood work and so on). Everything with my liver transplant was going well. I even had a baby in 2006.

However, my first liver transplant would not last long for me because of my neglect and improper care of myself to maintain my health and the health of my liver.

So in the year of 2007, I began to become very sick due to rejection. My eyes turned yellow, my nails turned yellow and my hair started to fall out. I also began to accumulate so much water in my body that eventually down the line I was no longer able to fit into my sneakers or any shoes for that matter.

In 2010, I was so ill‐struck, that I was literally knocking at death’s door. I cried and cried and worried myself so about dying that I fell into a deep, dark depression. I didn’t do my hair, I wouldn’t talk to anyone, I wouldn’t go outside, I wouldn’t even acknowledge my son. I became totally isolated but through all that I still managed to pray to God and keep my hope as well as my faith in him. Then on June 25, 2010, all of my worries would be set aside and I would be thanking God so much for saving my life. On this day, I received the gift of life once again. Recovery, though, would be much more difficult to get through not only because it was my second transplant but because I ran into a couple bumps in the road. But, through God and my doctors, I would get through my bumps and be on my way home to be with my family as a new person who they can love and respect once more.

So I say to all transplant and non-transplant patients, always take care of your new organ and yourself. Also always keep in mind whenever you feel like you want to give up that somebody’s loved one had to lose their life to help save yours.