For the 100th Guest of Family House, It’s Wonderful

Posted July 12, 2017 in News Category

It was a Sunday morning. Kolleen Nisbet was in her morning routine. “I was getting ready to eat my cereal,” she said. “I took two bites and I felt nauseous and broke out into a sweat. I got dizzy.”

kolleen-nisbetKolleen Nisbet

She thought it was a heart issue. A couple weeks earlier, her primary care physician asked if she had ever been diagnosed with a heart murmur. She hadn’t. “They did a CAT scan of my heart,” Kolleen said of her trip to the emergency room near her home in Mendon, Illinois that Sunday morning. “They said my heart was OK, but I had a mass across my stomach. They referred me to Barnes-Jewish Hospital.”

At Barnes-Jewish Hospital, they discovered Kolleen had a benign, rare, and large tumor attached to her liver. “Rarer than rocking horse poop, the doctor told us,” said Curt, Kolleen’s husband since January 2017. “She’s one of under 1,000 cases. And very few need a liver transplant.”

She was placed on the liver transplant waiting list on June 9. Three weeks later, she received the call. As she recovered from transplant, Kolleen and Curt sought living arrangements near her transplant center for follow-up appointments and rehabilitation.

Family House was ideal for them and Kolleen’s 12-year-old son. “We would probably be staying at a hotel if it weren’t for Family House,” Kolleen said. “This is so nice, so much better. It’s a home. You can prepare meals without going out for every lunch and supper. You have privacy and quiet time. It’s so much more comfortable.”

Family House has provided them quiet, safe, comfortable accommodations as Kolleen navigates life with a new liver. “It’s been wonderful,” Curt said. “This is a great place, and we really appreciate it.”

Sixteen percent of Family House guests are liver patients. Almost 90 percent of guests have received a lifesaving transplant. All guests extend their gratitude to donors and donor families. “Hopefully someday we’ll get to meet her donor family,” Curt said. “If not, that’s OK too. We are extremely grateful to them, and we always will be.”


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