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Johnnie Quillen – Liver Recipient

In the Fall of 2004, I began to get sick every month and then, more often, to where I would get sick every week.  I went to my family doctor and he sent me to a specialist, as he thought it was my gallbladder.  The specialist sent me to get an x-ray and found that I had cancer of the liver.  I was referred to another specialist, and he told my husband and me that I needed a liver transplant. We both were shocked and didn’t know what to say.  I did not feel that I was that sick, for sure.  I was told that I would need a liver transplant soon, as my liver was covered with cancer.

The insurance company did not want to pay for a liver transplant, so I was unable to be put on the transplant list.  My husband, David, called the insurance company, his work, insurance commissionaire and our local Senator for help.  Finally, he got some help and the insurance company said they would approve the transplant.  I was then put on the transplant list.

By this time, I was in the hospital as my lung had collapsed.  I was in the hospital for one month.  After my lung was taken care of, I went home with my sister and brother-in-law.  If we had to be away from home, we had to keep our cell phone on in case the transplant team needed to call me.  About a week went by, and then I received a call from the transplant team to head for the hospital.

I received my liver transplant on March 31, 2005.  With the help of the doctors and God, I now have a new chance at life.  I am so very blessed!

I’ve tried to contact the family of my donor, but have not received a reply.  I am so thankful for my donor having made that decision to be a donor.  My family and I volunteer at events to talk about and give out information about becoming a donor.