On September 17th, I’ll celebrate a decade of life. Ten fruitful years made possible by the selfless gift of a living donor.
As a liver Transplant patient I have experienced the miracle of modern medicine. Diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 1998, I encountered an unknown and frightening adversary. Overwhelmed, by the diagnoses, I didn’t want to share this with my daughters or with anyone else. To keep quiet, I thought, meant I could keep my life from chaos.
How does a person with a chronic illness re-organize life? The disease is a major source of stress. I found I couldn’t do it alone. A social support system is vital. Finally, in March of 2002, I got bold enough to tell my daughters, “The doctor says I have less than five months to live.” And then I did what I had done so many times in the past, I put this calamity in God’s hand.
As the Hepatitis C advanced to end-stage liver disease the concept of death moved to the forefront. Then God showed up. With the sand of time trickling out for me, God’s mighty hand inverted the hourglass to begin time again. With three days to spare, I received my new liver at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver. It is with gratitude and admiration that I thank the wonderful doctors and the entire transplant team. But my greatest tribute goes the Author of my life and to the angels he gave charge over me–my tenacious and most fantastic daughters.
Over-coming adversity is more than surviving. It is Thriving, for it measures the quality of life. The key is to love your life in the darkest moments–even the bed of an invalid has potential.