Back in 2011, I was having some hip pain. My pediatrician ordered some tests, which included blood work. To everyone’s surprise, my results showed highly elevated liver enzymes- and I was only 11 years old. Upon further testing, it was revealed that I had the genetic condition Wilson’s Disease. At that point, I became a patient of Dr. Nadia Ovchinsky, who is the most dedicated and caring doctor. My health plan was to take medication and have checkups with Dr. Ovchinsky. Everything was under control until October 2019, when I was away at college and not feeling great. It was then, in November 2019, that I was transported from Newport Hospital in Rhode Island to Montefiore Medical Center ICU in acute liver failure.
After multiple tests and procedures, it was discovered that I would need a liver transplant. A lot of my own family members and friends were tested to be a living donor. After three weeks in the hospital on November 27, a liver was found that my doctors said would be a perfect match. I got the most life-changing gift the day before Thanksgiving 2019 from a complete stranger.
I can’t say enough about my liver team at Montefiore CHAM including the team headed by Dr. Ovchinsky, Dr. Kogan, Dr. Raizner and my surgeon Dr. Kinkhabwala. This team made my stay and the recovery extremely smooth. I was readmitted in early January 2020 for an antithymocyte globulin treatment. Again, the doctors and nurses amazed me with their knowledge and diligence. The amount of care each worker has for their patients is truly amazing. I have been home since January, taking each day one by one, and I am extremely thankful for the precious gift I received.
Casey has simple, sound advice for others going through similar journeys,
A great support system and a positive attitude can make even the darkest moments better.
Thanks for sharing your amazing story during Donate Life Month, Casey! ❤️
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