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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.