January 30, 2017

New Liver & Lease on Life

Imagine unexpectedly passing out on your apartment and waking up in a hospital to learn that your only option for survival is a new liver. That was a reality for Lia. She battled autoimmune liver disease and her liver was in critical condition.

Lia underwent a successful organ transplant but suffered major complications following the surgery. She battled kidney failure and a serious lung infection. More than once after the transplant, her family and friends were told she had only a few hours to live – Lia was not expected to make it through all of the complications her body was battling.

Lia’s long hospitalization following the transplant surgery left her unable to walk or use her hands and unable to breathe without the assistance of a ventilator. Lia transferred to RML with some pretty ambitious goals: despite barely surviving post-surgery complications, she wanted to get back on her feet and learn to breathe on her own again.

“Though my transplant was done at another hospital, RML was the first place I remember and where I was completely lucid. There were many dark times where I felt that I would never breathe on my own nor eat solid food, hold a fork without assistance or walk more than a couple of feet without my legs trembling and giving out. The best day was the day, with the support of Rob and the other therapists on staff, where I walked to the next corridor without stopping to sit in a wheelchair. That showed me that this was only temporary and I knew I could get better.”

Lia did in fact get better. After RML, Lia continued therapy. She finished planning for her wedding, started a new job and moved in to a new home. She is now happily married.