Never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would have liver disease. I began my journey with liver disease in 2011 and despite ongoing treatments and medication, I ended up being hospitalized in May of 2012. I ended up in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for 49 days with liver and kidney failure in May 2012 experiencing Hepatorenal Syndrome – Type-1. This proves that anyone can find themselves victims of liver disease.
After my initial hospitalization, I needed to re-learn to walk and do basic skills. I struggled to lift even the smallest object and feed myself. After 12 more hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and dialysis, my medical teams at the University of Minnesota and Abbott-Northwestern had to get me healthy enough to be able to be evaluated for transplant.
Being a husband and father of two children ages 7 and 12, my illness had a major impact on my family.
Previously considered “too sick for transplant” earlier in the year; I was evaluated at the University of Minnesota for a liver and kidney transplant in the fall of 2012 and fortunately was placed on the waiting list. There were so many doctors and nurses who cared for me and managed complex treatments and therapies, sometimes with competing interests, it amazes me that I survived.
In January 2013, I received that gift of life, and with it, a second chance at life receiving a liver and kidney from the same donor.
Since my transplants, I have focused on giving back and raising awareness. I serve as a member of the American Liver Foundation’s National Patient Advisory Committee, a member of the ALF Minnesota Board of Directors and am an Ambassador for LifeSource, sharing my story with medical professionals, at new nurse orientation, emergency room staff meetings and with teens through health classes for driver’s education classes.
Last updated on July 11th, 2022 at 04:11 pm