My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest when the doctor sat down and told my father he had 6 weeks left to live. As my sister sat there sobbing, I turned my back and just kept telling myself to breathe. I gave my father a hug and I told him that there was still hope. He cried and just kept saying “What the F*ck did I do to myself?” I offered to donate a part of my liver. I would have done anything to keep him alive, but that wouldn’t be enough. The doctor told me he needed a complete donor liver. My father had been moved to the top of the list due to kidney and liver failure. There was no guarantee he would get a liver in time, but I refused to think in any negative way.
A couple of days later we received word that there was a liver. The fog was so bad that a helicopter was unable to deliver any organs and the doctor could not fly. The donor’s parents kept life support going just to hold their child’s liver for my father. A couple of days later, the liver and the doctor had arrived. My father called me at midnight to say he was going in for an 8 hour transplant. I didn’t sleep for a minute and waited for the doctor to call. At 9 am the phone rang. The doctor stated that my father gave him a run for his money, but he was stable now and doing well. I drove for 3 hours and as soon as i saw him open his eyes, I knew life would finally change.
To My Father’s Liver Donor,
My heart breaks for you and your family. You were kept alive for two days to save someone you didn’t even know. You didn’t just save a person. You saved a father, a grandfather, and you saved a family. The man you saved had demons that he didn’t have the strength to fight. Those demons caused him to lose a relationship with his children and his grandchildren. His demons ultimately lead him to the sentence “you have 6 weeks left to live.” This may sound horrible, but at that time, he had already been dead to us for years. We didn’t know who this man was. We mourned the loss of our father who was still alive, but YOU gave him back to us.
His recovery was a long and painful process. Three months of trying to walk, eat, taking medications, long trips every other week, the financial crisis, worrying about every lab number, and worrying about the future. He struggled and was negative. I was forced to watch him struggle and had to try to remain positive.
It is now 6 months later and tears are brought to my eyes from happiness. My father is healthy, he spends time with his children and his grandchildren, he laughs, he makes jokes, he is more positive than I can ever remember him being. You gave him a second chance to prove that he could be the man that I had missed for so long. You gave him back to his family. I never gave up hope, and now he does’nt either. You gave us a gift. You are his Angel. You are our Angel, and whoever you are, I love you.
The Daughter of a Liver Recipient