Esther Ford – Liver recipient
It was a year in October 2011 since I had my liver transplant. I had my year’s checkup and am doing great. How did all of this begin? I was sick for almost 5 years, saw several doctors, had all kids of bloodwork, ultrasounds, CAT scans, and anything else they could think of. However, none of the doctors were able to diagnose my case. Then I started retaining fluid and gained 45 pounds. I started having ammonia highs and would be dizzy and pass out. I feel many times during the five year period, but was fortunate not to break anything. When I started having the ammonia highs the doctors decided it was NASH (non-alchoholic steatohepatitis), which is a form of cirrhosis. I was in and out of the ER and hospital several times.
I started getting worse in the summer of 2010 and barely had enough energy to function on a daily basis. When I went for a check-up, we were told there was nothing that could be done and I had to receive a liver as soon as possible. Our church prayer email chain sent out an email indicating that I needed a liver immediately. The next day, my ladies prayer group had a special prayer at 6:00pm and also at 7:00pm. Of course, I was not present due to being too weak. At 9:00pm that night, I received a call indicating they had a match. My entire family, husband, mother, daughter, son-in-law and pastor drove to Memphis. My other daughter, who lives in Southaven, Mississippi, met us at the hospital, and I had my transplant. What a story! This was not a happenstance, but I know that the prayers of hundreds of people and the good Lord carried me through the time I was sick, during the transplant, and for the year that has just passed.
Most of my family were already registered donors. However, many others have signed up since my miracle. I know it is sad for the donor family, but I thank God for their loved one that had made the decision earlier to be a donor. My oldest daughter has gotten 38 friends to also register. I have not been able to contact the donor family yet, but I plan on doing so. My letter must be generic with no real personal information given. I must send the letter to the transplant center address, and they will send it to my donor family. If they want to contact me, they may do so. If not, I will never know the family of the person that GAVE ME LIFE. Thank God for the donor program and the doctors that are able to perform the surgery.