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My Life Changed Forever…

It was Thanksgiving 2008 that I first knew my life would change forever.

My wife who is an RN drove me to the hospital ER with esophageal varicies. I almost didn’t make it and was in the hospital for a week and at home for three months. I was told I would need a liver transplant. My first appointment was February 2009 at New York Presbyterian Hospital. After all the medical and psychological testing I was listed for a liver transplant April 2009.

We waited.

We got a call one Saturday morning in October of 2010 but it turned out to be a false alarm. The liver wasn’t right for me. On December 27, 2010, about 3:00 pm I received a call from my brother in California that my 90-year-old father had passed away. Even though I knew if I flew 3000 miles I might miss another transplant call I had to take that chance and make plans to fly from NY to SF.

Before I could book the flight I got a call from the transplant center. Divine intervention. They said, “We have a donor in Florida, are you ready?” Yes, I was. They confirmed a few hours later and said I should arrive at the hospital by midnight on December 28. By 5:30 AM that morning I was in the operating room receiving my donated liver from a gentleman a few years younger than me. I was in the hospital five days post transplant. I have been admitted back only twice once for an intestinal virus and then after a little bit more than a year out, I went in for an incisional hernia repair. Since then I’ve been back working as a junior sports coach teaching golf, table tennis and flag football. December 28, 2016, will be my 6th “liverversary.”

Thank you to my donor Jeff.

By Andrew Lazarus

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