Accepting A New Me

It may seem odd, but the smell of hospitals is comforting to me. They remind me of the nurses who stay past their shifts, to hold your fearing hands, of medicines that take away the pain, and of doctors who find cures.

I am 21 years old. I was 13 years old when I had my Liver Transplant. Sometimes I feel as if I have lived long past my age while other times I feel as if I missed a part of my childhood. Having a Liver-Transplant is an experience in its own, but mine was like no other.

With my Transplant there were no years of waiting on a list, no weekly visits to the doctor, or being sick. It just happened, it happened quickly, and it happened within a month.

My family and I took a trip to Walt Disney World in April of 1990. Two weeks later I was in Children's Hospital of Michigan where doctors were unable to find a diagnosis, let alone a cure.

My parents were terrified and the doctors were worried because hope seemed dim for the 13-year-old little girl, who had a perfect medical history until then.

The Memorial Holiday weekend was approaching, and doctors found that my liver and all its functions were deteriorating quickly. I fell into a coma and the doctors put me on the National Organ Donation list ranking me a #1 priority. This was the last chance of hope, if I didn't get a liver within 48 hours there was nothing that could be done.

Due to a car accident in Kansas, I was blessed with half of an adult female liver for which I am eternally grateful.

I look at holidays different, especially Memorial Day. It's more like a second birthday. It will be 8 years this May that I'll have had the transplant.

I have dreams of becoming a prominent figure in society. I hope to use my experience and my knowledge and status to show people that Organ donation saves lives, answers miracles and creates opportunities for dreams.