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Waiting for a liver transplant

I am Martin Bentley a patient at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville FL and now listed for a liver transplant. I grew up in Spencer county KY. Our research found Florida as my best chance of receiving a liver in a timely manner compared with other locations nationwide. Along with the NASH (Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis) liver condition, my liver also has a cancerous tumor. After several weeks of research of my body we have almost completed the strenuous workup to qualify for the transplant. My cancer treatments should be starting in April 2023. According to the transplant standards with liver cancer my transplant should occur on or before a 6 month period.

In November 2022 on a vacation trip to Smokey Mountains I became very bloated and felt terrible. Once I returned to Louisville I went to see my primary physician as soon as I could. After several weeks of test and multiple MRI’s and procedure to drain fluid from the abdomen it was found I have the cirrhosis of the liver cased by a fatty liver I have had for several years. The doctors never told me in the past that this could develop into a critical life condition. I had always been concerned about my heart as most of my mothers brothers died in there early 60s from a heart attack. After more test it was found I had one tumor of cancer on my liver. This made me feel like my life had ended and I wanted to just give up. With treatment of the cancer I may have up to 5 years without a liver transplant. My wife was insistent on me getting the best possible treatment so I could to be with her longer. But, it is a difficult decision to make.

I am 63 years old and would spend what I need for treatment. The main issues we faced was the travel and room and board expenses while being treated over 800 miles away.

Question: Do I put my wife in this position or do I live out my bucket list of things to do and pass on into the blue skies.

These are things you ask yourself and discuss with your partner. Life is full of joy and just as much despair. My wife and I made a promise to care for each other in sickness and in heath. As the Mayo psychologist said: “would you not do the same for your wife?’ And that made me consider maybe I was being selfish if thinking I should just stop treatment.

As a Christian we believe that God will open the doors for treatment or, not be given that opportunity. It is Gods will, not mine, on what will happen to me. So far he has provided a path to follow and all my test seems to be pointing towards me getting the precious gift of life from someone’s selfless decision to donate.

At this time we are temporarily relocating to be near the Mayo Clinic in Florida in case of the call that a liver is available.
I have had so many medical test as the transplant team wants the best outcome from such a precious gift.

For me and my wife this process is an emotional roller coaster. One obstacle at a time is the best way of describing my process towards a liver transplant.
God has opened so many doors and I’ve met many compassionate people from a person in the hospital waiting room offered her home to us. On a plane trip I set by a pastors wife and daughter and they prayed for me all the way to landing. The condo we found was owned by a former liver transplant surgeon and understands what we are dealing with and wanted us to purchase it. A person prayed for me on the golf course when he heard my story. I have people praying for me from the coast of the Atlantic to California and beyond. I am blessed beyond belief.

I hope you read this and feel that you could provide life to others. By giving the gift of life You will truly be a hero.