My name is Sheila and I have a rare genetic liver disease. I have been a court reporter for over 25 years and I love fitness and interacting with other people. I really enjoy Zumba and I have been an instructor since 2012. About two years ago my life started to change and I was subsequently diagnosed with liver disease. I am writing today to ask you to help me look for a living donor.
Even though I may look fine, living with liver disease has taken a toll on my health. Although at first I didn’t realize I had liver disease, I felt unwell very often and my abdomen got very swollen. On a daily basis I take injections to try to slow the progression of my disease as well as other medications due to complications caused by my liver disease. This condition makes it difficult to get up to go to work on a daily basis as well as travel, exercise and see my friends and family that I love so much. With a transplant I would have the energy and feel well enough to do all the things that I love and make me happy.
I am writing to all of you because I am in need of someone to donate part of their liver to me. What you may not know is that the liver has the incredible ability to regenerate. In fact, healthy liver donors regrow the donated portion of their liver in a few weeks. My doctor told me that finding a living donor is my best option. It would greatly improve my health, bring back my energy and I can return to the things I enjoy doing.
So please, if you can find it in your hearts to donate a portion of your liver to me or at least share this story to help me find a living donor, that would mean the world to me. Thank you for reading my story.
If you are considering being a living donor please use links below to contact Sheila Nesmith-Worms'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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