Organ, eye, and tissue donation is a gift that never loses its value. Though it’s been over twenty-five years since Valerie received her liver from a donor, she still leads each day with a grateful heart. In celebration of Donate Life Month, here is Valerie’s story, shared from Donate Life- Stories of Hope:
Looking at Valerie today, it is impossible to tell that she was once deathly ill. It was so long ago, Valerie does not even remember that terrible time herself. She does know, however, that a liver transplant saved her life.
Valerie was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare, life-threatening liver disease, as an infant. Because of the severe and rapid damage the disease was causing to her liver, Valerie was placed on the national organ transplant waiting list when she was just nine weeks old. Months passed. Valerie’s parents tried their best to care for her and keep her comfortable, while anxiously awaiting the news that a matching liver had been donated. More than a year later, the call her parents had been hoping for finally came. Valerie received her new liver and her chance to live a long, healthy life when she was 18 months old.
Now, more than twenty-five years later, Valerie’s donated liver continues to allow her to live her life to the fullest. She attended college, landed a great job and is an active member of her church. Her donor’s gift also made it possible for Valerie to marry the love of her life and experience another miracle: the joy of motherhood. Valerie recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl without any challenges or complications. She is grateful for the time she gets to spend with her daughter—giving her baths, reading to her, playing together and simply watching her grow.
Even after all the years since Valerie received her lifesaving liver transplant, she never takes her good health for granted. Valerie is appreciative every single day for her second chance at life and all that it has given her.
Learn more or register to become a donor here: www.donatelifenewengland.org