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John H.

Biliary Atresia

John H - Faces of Liver Disease

I was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia at around 6-months-old. I was put on the transplant list, and received my new liver on January 14, 1983.

After a fairly normal adolescence, my liver enzymes began to elevate, and I began to develop esophageal varices, which are blood vessels from the liver that grow due to decreased blood flow.

I was notified that I would be in need of a second transplant, and was put on the list in the fall of 1998.

My health began to decline further. I would be very tired after the high school day, and would take naps until dinner time. I experienced increased ammonia levels due to the liver failure, which make you irritable.

John H - Faces of Liver Disease

I finally received the call, and was transplanted July 1, 1999.

Since then I have married and have three kids. I live outside of Hartford, CT with my family. I have launched my own website and blog, and am working on a memoir, due out next year. I hope to use these tools to share my story with others, and provide comfort to those who may be struggling.

Do not take one day for granted. You may be sick, and discouraged, but keep going! There are a lot of things I wish I had gone for as a teenager, but was self conscious of my scar, or didn’t think there was any hope.

My other piece of advice is to laugh often. There were many things throughout my difficult journey that my parents and I were able to find the humor in, which helps keep you focused and sane!


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