Liver Transplant: Mary's Story

"I would not be here today enjoying all of this without all of the people on the transplant team."

-Mary, who underwent a liver transplant at UW Hospital and Clinics



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Mary (pictured left with her husband) received a liver transplant at UW Hospital and Clinics. She recounts the experience in her own words below.

Update: September 3, 2011
It is the eight-year anniversary of my new life with my new liver. I want to say, once again, a giant thank you to everyone. Doctors, nurses, Jamie, my coordinator, and all the aides and everyone remotely involved in my care. Mostly a huge thank you to my donor family. Happy eighth anniversary to me.
Story: Submitted January 20, 2011
Mary received a liver transplant from UW Hospital and ClinicsHello my name is Mary.
My story is the same as most, but at the same time very unique. My liver disease was discovered by a local surgeon while performing a gall bladder surgery. After it was discovered, I was referred to Dr. Christianson for monitoring.
I soon became very ill. I slipped away slowly, but surely. I would fall asleep all of the time, even during conversations. A close friend wrote in her journal after every visit with me, and I have recently been able to read the entries. She would pull to the side of the road on her way home after every visit and just cry. She thought she would never see me again. My teenage daughter divorced her feelings for me. She now tells me to lose her love for me made my death easier for her to stand. Our loving relationship has finally recovered.
I met the transplant team numerous times and have vague recollections of those visits. I remember Dr. Musat being so kind and yet strict about following what he told me. I remember Dr. Lucey putting me in the hospital several times. I remember that I was very sick. I remember the many tubes, and needles and tests. I remember the kindest doctors, nurses and aids and I know that without them I would not be here now.
Mostly I have my husband to thank. He has saved my life several times. I am so grateful to be here and to have experienced the love and caring of family and friends who took care of me and all who prayed for my recovery. Having a liver transplant is a very scary and overwhelming experience, one that seems insurmountable. I had a long recovery because I was so ill pre-transplant.
I now have celebrated my five-year anniversary and I am healthy and loving my life and my family and friends. I am looking out my window at the fall leaves and beautiful birds in my yard. I would not be here today enjoying all of this without all of the people on the transplant team. I want to say a special thank you to my coordinator Jamie, who has guided me through some difficult times. I have seen the view through the windows of the transplant unit at UW Hospital during every season and I am here to say that you will come out on the other side.