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30 Stories in 30 Days: Liver Transplant Creates a Bright Future

Posted Apr 10 2013 4:05pm
Tim and Donna Battershell

Tim and Donna Battershell

When Tim Battershell emerged from a week-long coma in August 2006, he learned that he had liver failure. “This was the beginning of a journey that was very difficult for my family and me as we waited more than a year for the call that would save my life,” Tim said.

During the next 14 months, he was in and out of the hospital for procedures to keep him alive. “Many procedures were done to help keep me alive, with the hope of eventually receiving a liver transplant. I was eventually referred to Kovler Organ Transplantation Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago to be screened as a liver transplant recipient.”

In August 2007 Tim suffered a serious bowel obstruction and was flown from Carle Hospital in Champaign to Northwestern Memorial. “As I recuperated, I knew my body was struggling to keep going,” he explained. “Without a liver, I would not survive past Christmas.”

Tim prior to transplant

Tim prior to transplant

In the following months, Tim endured more hospitals, doctors and procedures. Then, at 5 a.m. on October 14, 2007, he received a call that would change his life. They had a liver for him. “I remember going into surgery at 2:30 that afternoon to receive a new liver and a second chance at life. My mind was filled with anticipation, but also with sadness, knowing that another family would be grieving the loss of their loved one.”

It has now been more than five years since his transplant, and Tim is living a full life. “I am back playing golf, taking longs walks and enjoying my family,” he said. “My wife, Donna, and I take nothing for granted. The future is bright with endless possibilities. But without my donor and his family, I would not be here today. I consider them heroes for selflessly helping someone they didn’t know.”

Tim is now an Advocates for Hope volunteer for Gift of Hope, urging others to become registered donors. “I encourage everyone to register today at GiftofHope.org ,” he said.


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