My situation forced my family and me to learn about life on the transplant waiting list. My wife Nancy, my two grown daughters and I researched my disease and treatment. We also reached out to friends who had received transplants and those like me who were waiting. After months of diligent research, I felt I was one of the most informed patients on the waiting list and that everything would be all right.
The next 18 months were a combination of waiting and preparing. I was called to the hospital three times and prepared for surgery. Each time I was told the liver was not a good match. On February 28 of this year, I received a call I will never forget. There was another potential match. Luckily, this call was not a false alarm—I received a new liver and a new lease on life.
Dan at work shortly after his transplant.
My recovery went quickly, and I was back at work after 30 days and back into my normal, active routine after only 90 days. I was blessed with the support of a wonderful family and a talented transplant team that was fully dedicated to saving my life. But none of this would have happened, and I would still be waiting if my donor hadn’t decided to register his or her decision to give life through organ donation. Someone unselfishly decided that he or she wanted to save someone’s life by registering as an organ and tissue donor. This was truly a gift of life that I will treasure forever. My family is eternally grateful to the family—and the donor—that decided to give me a second chance at life.
Now that I’ve had a chance to reflect, I’m amazed at how little my family and I thought about organ and tissue donation before I learned that I would need a new liver. I now realize how important it is to give the gift of life through donation. After reading my story, I hope you do, too. Please take a few moments to learn more about donation and to register your decision to be an organ and tissue donor at DonateLifeIllinois.org .
- Dan D.To learn more about organ and tissue donation and to register your decision to donate life, go to DonateLifeIllinois.org . For more information on Dan and his transplant, visit Dan’s Liver Blog .