Gary Martin, Recipient
Thankful for the Godsend of an Opportunity
Posted May 16, 2016
My family and I were extremely blessed on June 16, 2014 when my father receive the liver transplant we had so hardly hoped for.
In early October of 2013, we all started to notice some small changes in my dad: His appetite changed, his skin and eye color turned yellow, and he was sick more then ever (and I never remember him being sick a a kid). We all started to become concerned as well as did he. My mom and he made an appointment with a gastroenterologist in Alton, where we live, and they gave us several different answers all in which were less severe than what he was actually going through.
After numerous emergency room visits and nights filled with vomiting blood and abdominal pain, we were finally transported to Saint Louis University Hospital. As soon as he was evaluated there and seen by the wonderful team of doctors and nurses, we were informed that he has cirrhosis of the liver and would need a transplant very soon. Those words just didn’t seem possible. He’s always been the best dad in the world, never done a single person any wrong, and most certainly was not an alcoholic (which we were informed later is not the only cause of cirrhosis). On this day our world stopped and nothing else seemed to matter. Months went by and we seen several doctors, had an uncountable amount of testing done, were admitted several times, put on multiple ventilators, and told more than once he probably wouldn’t make it through the week.
At this point all we had was faith.
The doctors and nurses were doing everything in their power to help him and make this process just that much longer so we had just a little more time with him with hopes that someone would be selfless enough to donate that perfect liver. On June 15th, the day before Father’s Day, my dad begged doctors to send him home to spend what we all anticipated to be out last Father’s Day with him here. Against their better judgment, they allowed him home for one day and told him he must return the next day. We sat at home just enjoying his presence when his cell phone rang (as it always did and still does). It was his transplant coordinator, and she told us to “PACK OUR BAGS!”
From that day forward my family had been more than thankful to the donor family and to Mid America Transplant for the godsend of an opportunity! My dad is stronger, healthier, and happier than ever. I don’t have enough kind words to thank everyone for the love, prayers, and support we were given in this time of need.