About 16 1/2 years ago, I took Chatty to Arkansas Children's Hospital. Hubby was still in Virginia. The girls had been born at 27 weeks gestation. They got out of the hospital the day they turned three months old, and about six weeks later after I'd nagged and nagged the pediatrician, we knew something was seriously wrong with Chatty's liver (it's a lengthy post, but includes links to the girls' birth stories and the explanation of Chatty's surgeries - just don't forget to come back and finish reading this one because you don't want to miss it either).
For the better part of a day we thought she had biliary atresia, a non-correctable liver disease where the bile ducts constrict and don't go back to normal. It would require a liver transplant. At the time she was 6 1/2 pounds, 4 1/2 months old, although they adjusted her age to 1 1/2 months due to prematurity.
After an ultrasound later in the day, everyone was doing the happy dance. They found a cyst in her bile duct. Surgery, although lengthy and some cutting and pasting would be required, would correct her problem.
We know that all the places we've been God has placed us. We can see His hand in it. So now to tie everything together...
Mari was one of my first blogging friends. I've since met her now that I live in Michigan too. Of course we met at Ikea! Goody for me that I live closer to it!
Well, last year around the holidays I realized that one of Mari's other blogging friends, Cathy, lived close to me. We exchanged a few casual emails. I told her where my church was located and she said she didn't live too far from it. I was in the car shooting the emails back and forth on my blackberry. I even mentioned it to Hubby casually while he was driving. I started following Cathy's blog.
In June of this year, just one day before our 25th anniversary, Cathy posted of the need for a liver transplant for her daughter, Heather. They were looking for someone with the same blood type, O+. That's what Hubby's is.
I asked him how he felt about being a live liver donor (I think I might have told him it was local and for an only child), he said to find out what he needed to do, and that's pretty much the beginning and end of it.
On November 15, my husband and Heather will both be having separate surgeries with separate doctors in the same hospital at the same time, which of course is local because we all live right here. Who had that all planned out?
Hubby's recovery will be 4-6 weeks. He'll be in the hospital about a week. They will be taking out the larger, front lobe of the liver (65 percent) and leaving 35 percent. It will regenerate to the normal size in six weeks.
My husband is a nice guy. He's pretty laid-back. He also has a great sense of humor. It's hard sometimes to show complete personalities on a forum like this. You can see his silly picture with Caboose and Mr. Excitement at a monster truck show on my sidebar. That's him. But sometimes it's a little more subtle. For example, I had him go pick up an ice cream cake at Dairy Queen on Father's Day for himself. Well, for all of us to share. This is what we ended up with:
I'm sure he had the lady at DQ laughing with that request!