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Stories of Hope: those waiting

Cindy, waiting for a liver

I am a non-practicing registered nurse as I write this. I learned while working on a surgical floor at a small community hospital that I have hepatitis C. By the time I was diagnosed, the disease had progressed so much that within a year of finding out I have Hep C, I was placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant. Professionally speaking, I understood what was happening to me, but I felt like I had no one who could understand what I was feeling.

As I write this, I have been on a waiting list for a liver transplant for 20 months with a probable additional one to two years of waiting (unless I get sicker faster than that). I had seen "The Kindness of Strangers" produced by the James Redford Institute and posted to the website. I was contacted by one of the families featured in the documentary, Pete and Laurel Wiley. It has been my blessing to have met Pete; his daughter, Laurel and I e-mail several times a week. It has helped to know someone who has been through the waiting period and who is now five years post-transplant and living a full, productive life.

If I could say one thing to people, I would stress that they make their wishes to be an organ donor known to their families before that situation arises. I think most families would honor their loved one's wishes and it would be easier to do so if they know in advance.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to express myself.


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