Hey! I’m alive! Haha. I’m recovering nicely at my aunt’s home in Modesto. Today, 8 days after our transplant, my cousin gets to go home. There is so much awesomeness to share and I’m finally able to sit down and start writing. In my last post, I wrote what I expected to happen for my living liver donor surgery. Here’s what actually happened.
Living Liver Donor Surgery
Well, let’s start with the night before.
I had a private room at the hospital! So very nice. My husband hung out with me for a while and we watched football and then Tombstone on the giant TV. I was visited by:
- Vivek, a liver specialist I believe, to see if I had any questions.
- Collin with some release forms.
- Chris with a request to use my liver scraps for research.
- Rosa, my day nurse put in my IV port and got some blood.
- Ryan, my night nurse explained how to self-administer the suppository.
Yup. Lots of new and fun experiences.
They came to fetch me around 5:30 am. I texted my husband. He said he was up and on his way to meet me at pre-op.
I was wheeled down to the 4th floor. A surgical nurse, two anesthesiologists, and a liver transplant doctor all came to say hi. I did some stretches. I got a hair cap. My mom brought J-dub to see me. He was so tired he stared blankly while I gave him a kiss goodbye.
I was scheduled for 7:30 am in the operating room.
The last thing I remember is being wheeled out of pre-op. We went down a hallway. I said goodbye to my husband. One of the anesthesiologists pushed open a door and said something about keeping my arms and legs inside and enjoying the ride. Then…I was out.
By 7:50 am they had opened me up to check my anatomy and make sure it looked as expected. My family went back to the hotel to have breakfast and let J-dub run around.
At 9:35 am nurse Mary called J. They had started removing the right lobe of my liver. My cousin was headed into the next operating room.
At 11:04 am they were still in process of dividing my liver. Dr. Roberts (my cousin’s surgeon) had come in to my OR to see the piece of liver he was going to get.
Around noon my family headed back to the hospital. They found my cousin’s family and waited together.
At 12:40 pm nurse Mary left J a message. They were almost done and Dr. Ascher would be in the surgical waiting room by 1:15.
At 12:50 pm my family got to the waiting room just in time for Dr. Ascher to walk in. She said I did great and they were closing me up.
At 1:20 pm J saw me leaving OR for ICU on the gurney. I was already awake and they told me, “Look who it is!” I gave J a thumbs up. Nurse Mary told J they could come see me on the 9th floor ICU in about an hour.
At 2:00 pm my family had finished eating lunch. Randy’s surgery was still underway. They were hanging out with my cousin’s family and the mood was light.
Thank you for your support!
So many of you have been praying for us and donated to our fundraisers. It has been overwhelming to see the messages on FB and IG and texts. We cannot thank you all enough for caring and sharing.
It’s not over yet.
Now that the transplant is complete, please don’t forget us. My cousn and I have a long road of recovery ahead. We both have to go back to UCSF several times for check-ups. If you haven’t yet, you can still:
- Pray for my cousin and I and our families.
- Donate a little toward his family’s travel costs.
- Buy a t-shirt to help with my family’s costs.
I’ll share about my recovery in the hospital; walking for the first time and staying positive. I hope its helpful for anyone looking into living liver donation.