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Danny Crouch-Liver Recipient

Danny and Family (640x448)Our story is about being given the gift of life. In June 2012, life was good.  I had just retired from the Bath County school system, and Danny and I had made plans for travel, planned for winters in the Sunshine State, camping trips in the summer, and days of relaxation.  He had retired earlier and hadn’t been feeling well, but we thought it was just a bug and would pass.  He had worked hard all of his life, being a mechanic and operator on heavy equipment.  He had served in the Army and had spent a tour in Vietnam when he was younger.  We were both looking forward to enjoying our retirement years.

We made plans to take our first trip out West and waited patiently for August to arrive because we were the babysitters for our grandchildren that summer.  When August rolled around, he was already sick but refused to go to the doctor.  All the time we were out West on our trip, he didn’t want to do anything but rest and sleep.  We were gone five weeks, and when we arrived back home, our daughters were stricken to see the change in him.  After threats and lots of begging, he gave in and went to the doctor, where he was immediately sent to the emergency room.  There he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.  This news blew us away because he had never drank in his life and never had hepatitis.

After dozens of tests he was also diagnosed with NASH, or non-alcoholic cirrhosis.  It was determined that he had a type caused by an Alpha One deficiency, which is hereditary.  The new just kept getting worse.  There was no cure or medicine they could give him to make it better.  He had only 10 percent liver function, and the only hope was a transplant.  It was then we learned the facts about organ donation and how many people die waiting to receive a transplant.

We began the journey of getting on the transplant list, which was a long and trying process.  We were sent to Vanderbilt University in November 2013, where it was determined that he would be a candidate for a liver transplant.  From that point on I watched as he became weaker and weaker, and days on end he didn’t even recognize the home he lived in.  Those were dark days that brought me and our daughters to our knees.  If it hadn’t been for our neighbors, friends, family, and our church family, we could not have made it through these times.  We prayed continuously that God would show us the way and give us strength to accept His will.

In August 2014 we went back to Nashville, and Danny was so ill that his doctor wouldn’t let him come home.  We were there for a week, and on August 28, 2014, we received the call that changed our lives.  They had received a liver that was a match for Danny.  We thanked God and went straight to the hospital where he was given his second chance on August 29, 2014.  The liver immediately went to work and after seven months, it is still going strong!

We believe in God and the ability He gives these miracle workers that we can call doctors.  We also believe that we were put on this earth to serve others.  We thank God every day that there was someone out there that wanted to give the gift of life by signing the back of his driver’s license.  This person will always be a hero to me and my family.

Please be a hero to someone! Sign the back of your driver’s license and give others the gift of life.