Hello, my name is Leslie. In 2002 at the age of 37 I received a life saving liver transplant. At the age of 34 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune liver disease. Essentially my own immune system had been damaging my liver for years. This caused me to have cirrhosis of the liver. When you have cirrhosis or scarring of the liver you experience symptoms of liver failure. At first the major symptom I experienced was fatigue. Sleeping twelve to fourteen hours still left me lethargic. Now I’m not one to sit back and let life happen, I want to be a part of it all! So I always pushed through even though my body was telling me
to shut down.
I am a wife and mother of two boys ages 19 and 21 years old now. At the time I was first diagnosed they were 9 and 11 years old. As most mothers know life can be pretty hectic and ours was no exception. My husband coached sports teams and my boys played sports every season. We traveled with them throughout the Northeast to play ball. We were busy and loving every minute of it! But my condition, although stabilized at times, would go from bad to worse. Experiencing such symptoms as ascites (fluid on the abdomen) and bleeding of esophageal varicies (bleeding esophagus). Liver failure causes death. I could not go on indefinitely with my own liver. I was placed on a transplant list in March of 2001. Wearing a beeper waiting for a call, it came, a miracle! On February 2, 2002 I received “My Gift of Life”. During their own grief, my donor family gave this gift to me unselfishly. God tells us to love one another as ourselves. I am alive today because of their decision to think of others.
Today I try to be all that I can be, taking pride in volunteering and doing for others. I am a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a co-worker, a neighbor, a friend, a church Deacon, a volunteer, a bell choir ringer, a patient, and a liver transplant recipient! Volunteering with Donate Life Connecticut, the New England Organ Bank and Life Choices Donor Services helps me to give back in some small way. By educating the public about organ and tissue donation my hope is that less people will die waiting on transplant lists. God willing!
“Today I try to be all that I can be, taking pride in volunteering and doing for others. I am a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a co-worker, a neighbor, a friend, a church Deacon, a volunteer, a bell choir ringer, a patient, and a liver transplant recipient!” -Leslie