My name is Megan Thompson and my husband, William Hayden Thompson Jr, passed away on November 22, 2023 from complications from liver failure, just shy of his 29th birthday. Hayden and I had been together for almost 8 years, but we were only married for 10 short months before he passed away, having only gotten married January 21, 2023.
Although my husband did not survive his illnesses, organ donation will forever be an important cause to myself and the rest of Hayden’s family due to the potential it gave him.
Hayden suddenly started to feel sick in October of 2023. After a few weeks of being unable to eat much, overwhelming lethargy, and the overall feeling of being ill, Hayden went to our local hospital in Owensboro where he was immediately transported by ambulance to the University of Louisville Jewish Hospital’s Transplant-Surgical Intensive Care Unit where he was diagnosed with liver failure.
After arriving, we were told the severity of his illness- he would almost certainly need a liver transplant, and without one his prognosis was not a positive one. This was absolutely devastating news for us and for Hayden to hear- we felt that there was just no time. We felt horrified and scared that we were going to lose our Hayden.
After speaking to the transplant team within UofL Jewish Hospital, we learned of his options. The transplant team told us they were not worried at all about finding him a donor and that he would almost certainly get once he reached that point. This gave me and his family immense hope in a previously hopeless situation. I was immediately so relieved, felt like I could finally breathe again, and that we still had a future to share with one another that had only just begun.
Soon after this, Hayden’s body was almost immediately riddled with infection after infection. He could not remain on the donor list until his infections were cleared. I still remained hopeful because the doctors and nurses all were, as we had been told so many times, the best of the best. (And I still truly believe that to be a fact, from the bottom of my heart, regardless of the outcome.)
Unfortunately, the infections in our Hayden spread too far and were not responding to any treatment, ultimately leading his body in to sepsis. After 16 heart wrenching days in the ICU, full of sleepless nights, of ups and downs, small wins, big wins, bad days and good days, Hayden’s physical body died and left us in insurmountable heartbreak.
KODA will forever remain near and dear to my heart because of the pure hope it gave me and the rest of his family- his parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and countless cousins. He himself was a registered organ donor and his family and I would have honored his wishes if he were able to have done so. Knowing that he could have received a donor liver and been given a second chance, for his life to be saved, for us to start a family together, and continue to be the best friend to me and so many others, is a feeling I will never forget and I hope I am able to express with my words to give justice to how much it has impacted me.