Linda is one lucky grandma because she gets to care for her two grandsons on a regular basis – grandsons she never would have met had it not been for a successful liver transplant in 2011.
She certainly never expected her life to take the turn it did in December of 2010 when her eyes yellowed and she started feeling a little “off.” It felt like a whirlwind when a trip to her doctor turned into a visit to the ER, and then admission to the ICU. With no warning signs and no lifestyle choices to blame, Linda was suddenly in acute liver failure.
In early February, Linda became “Status 1,” meaning she had only hours or days to live if she didn’t receive a liver transplant. It was less than two months from the day she experienced her first symptom.
“Things happened so fast that I still haven’t completely wrapped my mind around it,” she said.
On Feb. 8, Linda received a new liver from a 10-year-old boy whose parents, in their darkest hour, chose to give her the precious gift of life.
“I am so completely grateful to the family, who in a time of extreme sadness and grief was willing to show such compassion,” Linda said.
Linda has sent letters to the little boy’s family and hopes to hear from them one day. In the meantime, she is spending as much time as possible with her husband, two sons, and two grandsons. She also volunteers with Donor Alliance, enjoys the great outdoors, gardens, and invests her time in home improvement projects.
Being told that she only had hours or days to live had a profound effect on Linda.
“I think it cemented my priorities of where family, job, and myself are arranged even more. I don’t procrastinate on some things as much since I am more keenly aware of how short and unpredictable life is. I don’t just enjoy time with family and friends. I grasp on to it and cherish it, savoring each moment. Little things don’t bother me. There is too much to enjoy and appreciate every day.”