I am John Bresnahan, I live in Providence RI with my partner, Joey and our shaggy dog, Finch. We are both elementary school teachers and have been together ten years. I was six years old when I was first diagnosed with PSC, the gradual scarring of the liver. This is an autoimmune disease with no cure, or even accommodating treatments, save a liver transplant.
Growing up I played piano and guitar, and when I went to college I hiked, skied, climbed, surfed and biked every day. I was 23 the first time I was hospitalized for symptoms related to liver failure. Seven years later, I have been hospitalized many more times, undergone multiple therapies to remove tumors after being diagnosed with Liver Cancer, and am still waiting for a liver transplant. I’ve taken a break from nearly every hobby I had due to muscle loss and fatigue. Alcohol, dairy, meat, and high sodium foods are things I haven’t had for years. This past year I was unable to stay healthy enough to keep up with the demands of a full time teaching position, and was only able to substitute part time.
Finding a matching donor after spending nearly my entire twenties being sick, would enable me to commit to my students and teach full time. A transplant would let me exercise and enjoy sports again, as well as the energy to practice music and enjoy life.
Thank you for reading, please share my story and consider becoming an organ donor. With Yale New Haven Health, your inquiries are completely confidential. And while you may not be a match for myself, there are many other patients in need of a transplant. We are all suffering the effects of a critical supply and demand situation. Your selfless act in sharing this story, and becoming an organ donor helps saves lives! Thank you for all that you do.
If you are considering being a living donor please use links below to contact John Bresnahan's Transplant Center. Begin by completing the donor questionnaire
Liver transplantation has been a successful treatment and standard of care for end-stage liver disease since the early 1980s.
Technical advancements in liver surgery, as well as the liver's tremendous ability to regenerate, have made living donor liver transplantation a life-saving reality.
There are currently 120,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant in the U.S. Of these, 15,000 await liver transplants.
Although more than 6,000 liver transplants were performed last year, over 1,700 patients died while waiting on the list.
Deceased donor livers are allocated to patients based on how sick they are, determined by their MELD score, where sicker patients receive priority.
Living donation offers patients the option of transplant before they get very sick--regardless of MELD score--significantly decreasing the time they wait for a liver.
Living donation not only saves the life of the recipient; it also frees up a liver for a patient on the waiting list who does not have that option.
The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) and Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease (PELD) are numerical, objective scales that allocate available livers to the sickest patients. Patients move up the list as their scores increase.
The first living donor liver transplant took place in 1988. Since then, living donors have continued giving the gift of life and making a difference.
When a recipient has a living donor, the wait time for transplant is shorter and the transplant can be scheduled in advanced when the recipient is in good health and when it is convenient for both the donor and the recipient.
Financial burdens shouldn’t prevent the gift of life. The National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC) can offer financial support for living donor travel expenses.
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