*Thank you to my friend Samantha Hogan for sharing her story and her husband’s story of how a selfless act by someone else gave him a second chance at life and love. Check out the video that documents this miracle.*
I am thankful for so many things in my life. My God has given me so many blessings, so many do-overs, so many second chances at life. One of my most prized second chances wasn’t exactly MY second chance, but rather, my husbands. You see, my husband Curtis, was diagnosed at age 14 with something called Steroid Responsive Chronic Hepatitis Auto-Immune. He went in to the doctor for a simple sinus infection and, a few weeks later, was having liver biopsies performed and multiple blood tests ran.
He was on medications off and on throughout his life. He was healthy for a while and then got sick. Very sick. Things that would make you and I need to miss a day of work and stay in bed hospitalized him for days or weeks at a time. After several surgeries, procedures and medications, his disease had developed into cirrhosis of the liver. So in May of 2008 he was put on the transplant list for a new liver. We were told that even though he was sick, he wasn’t sick enough to quite need a new liver just yet, but he’d be at the bottom of the list- unless he got sicker. Talk about not knowing how to pray! Do you pray for a new liver, which means your spouse gets sicker?
We waited, and time passed, and Curtis got sicker, then better, then a little sicker. It was a roller coaster. One week he’d spend in the hospital, one week at home. Back and forth. Then we got the call. June 21, 2009. Father’s Day weekend. We hurried and rushed to Memphis. We had been told in our counseling and training classes that the first time we were called he would most likely be the back-up for the person who ACTUALLY received the organ. For us, God had other plans. The surgeon told us when we got there that he had called three other people who were higher on the transplant list before calling Curtis and all three had turned down the organ. In case you’re wondering, you don’t turn down an organ if you’re on a transplant list. The doctor told us in his entire career he’d never seen anyone say no, but three people did. I believe it was divinely appointed to my husband. For his second chance at life.
His surgery went better than expected with no complications. We were told his hospital stay would most likely be 2-4 weeks. He was there seven days from start to finish. Now, three and a half years later, he is healthier than he has ever been. He is able to work full time. He plays out in the yard with the kids. He doesn’t get as tired. He still has to be careful when the flu and illnesses come around, but overall, he’s as healthy (or more so) than I am. What a faithful God we serve! My most prized second chance was the second chance he gave to my husband. The second chance to be a husband, son, and father. Thank you God for your blessings!
I would like to note that it does not go unnoticed to my family that another family lost a loved one so that my husband could have his second chance. They chose to turn their tragedy into hope for someone else. I could never thank that family enough. Although we do not know all of the details surrounding the donor, we know she was female, close to my husband’s age (32-33 at the time), and had a family of her own. I am forever grateful to that selfless family who chose to give life in their time of sorrow.