It was not until 2 days before my college graduation that my world really started
to unravel. My dad’s fiancé called hysterical... I just found your dad, unconscious
in a pool of blood and vomit on the bathroom floor, he was barely breathing... he
is being rushed to the hospital.
I have heard people describe how the world stops when they experience something
traumatic, but you will never understand until it happens to you. I could not breathe.
I could not move. My dad... My big, tall, strong dad... my hero, my protector, the number
one man in my life, and I have no idea what will happen. It was after my father’s
variceal bleed that almost took his life that my family decided to seek treatment
for my dad at the world renowned Mayo Clinic. We were thrilled at finally having
answers and a plan.
We were told that dad would be put on the transplant list, but that he would be
low. He was sick enough to need round the clock care, but not sick enough to receive
a liver in the near future. The doctors told us that most people on the transplant
list survive for years awaiting a liver, in the same condition as my dad. Their
abilities and health continue to diminish until their entire liver and body shut
down, but hopefully a liver becomes available in the small window of time that a
recipient is sick enough to receive the next organ available, and at a time that
the recipient’s body is able to handle transplant surgery. That was how the decision
was made, that if he was going to have a liver it was going to be a soon as we could
get him one.
We knew there were plenty of people willing to give life to dad, and thought that
deceased donor organs should be for people who do not have loved ones willing, able,
or available to make a donation. I knew the minute that I heard living donation
was an option that it was going to be me. I can’t explain it but it was a gut feeling,
and a few months later on 10/5/2010 I saved my dad’s life.