To anyone that can help:
My name is Ricki, I am a 29 year old wife and mother... and my two men are what I live for. Unfortunately, we have recently been hit with a few blows that has changed our entire path. In April of 2006, we were blessed with our only son, it was a complicated delivery that resulted in a total of 3 surgeries for me, including a partial hysterectomy. My health began to decline. Now, I was never what you would consider a "healthy gal", I had my appendix and gallbladder removed, a spinal tap, EEG's, EKG's, CT's, and a few tests I would rather not mention (tehehe) but the biggest is that I was born with Hepatitis C, which is the reason I am writing this letter. Last year we found out that our son was also born with the Hepatitis C virus.
There are so many preventative measures we can take, diet, vitamins, exercise to keep his little liver healthy so that he may live a long and healthy life. Over the past 15 years or so, I have learned so much about the liver, and have tried my hardest to keep the disease at bay, including 1 year of the Interferon injections. However, for me, nothing has worked and this past June we found out that my liver has began to fail. Without a liver transplant, I have between 2 and 5 years to live. This is when my eyes were opened to the shortage of organ donors in America alone. All the men, women, children waiting to start living again and many are not making it. Though I am officially on that list of over 107,000 people, I am blessed to have a living donor, my hero, Nancy. My surgery has recently been set for less then 2 months away, July 15th. and though the statistics of survival are in my favor, I must prepare for the worst and just pray for the best! There are many "what if's" involved in my case, and because of my HepC, a large chance I will need another transplant... possibly within the next 5 years after my first. I may come out of this feeling worse then I am going in, and though I have many symptoms of liver failure and pain daily, I am still pretty confident of what to expect from day to day, so we just try to enjoy the time we have. But now, with this transplant coming up, I have to get busy. I have to have something set in place for my son... his health and all the others that are waiting for life saving transplants... My son may be on that list one day, and I don't want it to be a wait. Like I said before, we are preparing for the worst but praying for the best. I guess what I am looking for is a miracle. I want everyone to choose to LIVE life then GIVE life, I want them to be organ donors. I also need some form of awareness program, training for doctors, something so that people learn to be their own advocates with their health and doctors learn to treat and prevent liver damage, especially with children - before any damage is done.
I am not worried about what may happen to me (and I am trying my hardest to instill this into my whole family) I haven't been brought this far to fail now, but if my body does... I don't want my family to grieve. We will all see each other again one day. I want my son to know that I tried my hardest to stay on this earth for him and that I helped to make a difference.
Recycle Yourself - Recycle Life - Recycle Hope!
Flickr Photos - Ricki's journey