I just enjoyed my second best Thanksgiving ever!!! The first one was last year at the Mayo Clinic CCU. Special thanks to the entire team of talented dedicated professionals at the Mayo!
November 17, 2011 my wife drove me to the Mayo Clinic Phoenix. I was immediately checked in and a top notch team of Mayo’s finest Emergency Room staff sprang into action. They were all so calm and efficient at stabilizing my condition I knew I was in the best of hands! In CCU I was visited by Elizabeth J. Carey, M.D who explained my condition and informed me that I had cirrhosis of the liver.
There was no doubt in my mind I had been given a second chance at life and I will never forget it!
Over the next few months I fought with all my heart and all of the energy that I could muster to overcome my condition, but I was losing ground daily. I never had a single good day! I just couldn’t get it through my thick head that I couldn’t beat this thing and may need a transplant but I always fully cooperated with all of the Mayo staff without question.
I never admitted it to anyone but I was terribly ashamed of my condition and embarrassed that I had anything wrong with me, especially cirrhosis of the liver. Thanks to the Mayo, my wife and family, I held my head up high and through every up and down no matter how bad it seemed my glass always remained half full!
I felt the end was approaching. My wife and I had lengthy discussions on how to handle what was staring us both directly in the face. But through it all we were able to joke, laugh, and cry at times knowing we were in the best hands possible. We were both confident that if there was any chance of making it through this the Mayo would make it happen.
At 2:17 am the morning of November 22, 2012, Thanksgiving Day I awoke to my cell phone ringing. I answered and a member of the transplant team said Happy Thanksgiving Lloyd, we have a liver on the way to the hospital for you please get dressed and head that way.
After checking in at the ER and completing the necessary procedures in preparation for the transplant. I was moved to pre-op where a very confident Winston R. Hewitt Jr., M.D. introduced himself and explained he would be doing the transplant surgery. If I had any concerns or butterflies in the stomach they disappeared instantly when we shook hands. He looked me in the eye and said you’re going to do great and I felt that confidence surge throughout my body. For the first time in months I knew it wasn’t my time to go.
Doctor Hewitt kept his word and I came through with flying colors. Within days I was in a private room preparing for discharge. Over the next day or so several of the Mayo staff I had come in contact with over the last year dropped by to say hello. That was so nice and encouraging every time it happened. But the most touching visit for me was Doctor Carey. I was so happy to see her I couldn’t fight back the tears. I thanked her and the Mayo for my second chance at life and believing in me.
I get watery eyed and chocked up just thinking how fortunate I was to have made it to the ER in November 2011. To have experienced the expertise and the level of care that each and every person provided that morning and everyone else has continued to provide on every visit, appointment and hospital stay, makes me so appreciative, it’s like one big family, your family, working in harmony to help you save your life and get well.
I am so very thankful of the Organ sharing programs and awareness. Special thanks from my heart and the hearts of my wife and family goes out to the donor and the donor’s family for their gift of life to me. This is something I will never forget and my appreciation of it will never diminish; no matter how much time passes!
I love the Mayo Clinic and sincerely thank everyone there for contributing to saving not only my life but the many other lives they have touched and saved. It is so comforting to be exposed to such a great organization where everyone is so knowledgeable and caring. Everything is so fluid in motion, all the information about your condition is explained. All of the tests and the treatments you will receive, including the survival rate averages, are all explained in detail by everyone from the very beginning, and will continue with me throughout my life. With the information available and with all of the support you truly become part of the team, the family that takes you through the systematic process of saving your life.
I have grown so fond of everyone who has cared for and treated me. It’s like saying goodbye to your closest family and friends after the Holidays. I find a great deal of comfort though, knowing the Mayo and it’s highly trained and skilled staff will always be there. For me and anyone else who needs the best possible care available anywhere, hands down and I am living proof that miracles happen! I feel great thanks to all of you and I am proud to say I am a lifetime member of the Mayo Clinic!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!