All Stories

Kevin B. Wilson – Liver Transplant Recipient

I am a liver transplant recipient.  On November 26, 2003, I received a liver transplant at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, KY that saved my life and I am an eight year survivor!  If it were not for organ and tissue donation, I would not be writing this.  After my transplant the doctors told me that I would have died within two weeks if I had not been transplanted.

On June 22, 2002, I became very ill and ended up in our local hospital.  Later that night, I was told that I only had 15% of liver function.  That was devastating news!  I was then referred to Dr. Marsano at the University of Louisville.  After numerous medical tests, he informed me that I was suffering from a genetic deficiency known as ALPHA 1 Anti-trypsin.  This condition is contributed to the patient by both parents.  At the age of five, I was exposed to viral hepatitis, which began the slow process of deteriorating my liver, known as cirrhosis.  After many months of having fluid removed from my abdominal cavity, routine doctor’s visits, numerous hospitalizations, and rigorous testing for the purpose of being placed on the transplant list … I received the call from Jewish Hospital that there was a possible match.  At the time of my transplant, November 26, 2003, this one time 189 pound man, now broken and weighing in at a very meek 129 pounds, was desperately seeking an answer from God.  The ANSWER was a match!  After several days in and out of the hospital, I finally came home on Christmas Eve.  Now that was a real Christmas present!

I was an electric utility lineman prior to my illness and transplant.  Following my recovery, I was unable to return to this occupation, due to my doctor’s wishes and advice.  I am now the supervisor for our county road department and living my life to the fullest!

I lived to walk my daughter down the aisle to be married and give me a beautiful step- granddaughter and, recently, a grandson.  This precious gift of life gave my grandchildren the chance to be spoiled by “Pappy”…not possible had it not been for someone signing up to be an organ donor!  That person is very special to me, even though I do not know the name of the individual.  Every morning when my feet hit the floor I say a prayer for their family and thank God for their unselfish spirit.  I also thank my wife and family for their support through our 2 ½ year journey.

The Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life has made a tremendous effort to educate the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky regarding the organ and tissue donor program.  I know because I am one of the recipients of this life-saving program!  One never knows when your seemingly controlled life can be suddenly turned upside down!

I live today because of organ donation!