Transplant Recipient, Minnesota
After 12 years of decreasing health and losing quality of life, I was finally diagnosed with liver disease and placed on the transplant waiting list. I was one of a small percentage of people who just had a bad liver. Cryptogenic Liver Disease. After 2 years on the transplant waiting list and being shut in my home, my liver continued to fail as I experienced severe encephalopathy. On February 1, 2009, I received a call from my 2nd cousins family in California. My cousin Donald had suffered a stroke and was declared brain dead. Donald was not a registered donor and his family had not consider donation until his 87 year old father reminded them that I needed a liver. Donald’s family decided to direct gift me his liver. Donald was the perfect match for me and I received my lifesaving transplant on February 4, 2009. After my transplant we were informed that I would have only made it one month more, two at the most. The doctors determined that my liver would have quickly failed and I would have plummeted with little hope of receiving a liver. I am so thankful for my gift, to Kim and the Hegman Family. We share a special bond for which I am grateful. My new life includes being a member of Team MN DAK and a LifeSource Ambassador. Currently I am studying to become a Healing Touch Practitioner in hopes of helping others who are or have been in my situation. I am blessed.
The "Gift of Life" I received allows me to give back and make a positive difference in the lives of others. My humbled heart is grateful.
Thankful beyond words, Sue