The Transplant Unit

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 was a long day.  Assessment day.  Yikes.

Marc and I went to London Ontario on the 14th to stay over for his visit to London University Hospital’s Transplant Unit for assessment to see if he was a good candidate for transplant.

Here’s the thing: just because you need a new liver or other organ, doesn’t mean you automatically get on the list. Even if you have a living donor, they can say no.  It’s scary shit.

First off, there’s some comprehensive testing that has to be done.  Physical tests. Psychological tests. Bloodwork, cognitive tests etc. It’s pretty daunting.  They had to check his MELD score – Model for End Stage Liver Disease.  Anyone with a score of 15 or higher is considered for transplant.  Marc was at 16.

Testing started at 7am which meant we had to leave our hotel at 6:30am to find parking and where to go etc.  I dropped Marc off at the doors, parked and then went to find him.

First off, he had an ultrasound on his abdomen to see how his liver looked.  And some other tests that I don’t know the name of off hand (I will fill that in later.)  I fell sleep in the chairs in the waiting room….

I had Marc in a wheelchair as we had to be all over the hospital…. 2nd floor, 4th floor, 8th floor… and different areas.  Way easier on him… plus you know how I like pushing him around.  😉

We met with the transplant coordinator, a social worker… he had an echocardiogram to ensure his heart is strong enough for the transplant.  We met with the transplant team and he had cognitive and psychological testing (29/30!)  Then we were to meet with the surgeon, but guess what?  Got called into surgery.  Then some more bloodwork.  His veins are poked full of holes.

I fell asleep on the exam tables while waiting for two different assessments.  Not gonna lie.  It’s exhausting.

All the testing seemed to go well, but then the biggest test….. where were our coats?  The area where the lockers were was closed off! Thankfully someone showed us how to get them around the hallway…. and we went home to wait for the results.

Monday, March 20th – We went out for lunch and while out… Marc got the call!  He had passed all the tests and was officially being put on the transplant list!

During our conversations with various personnel with the transplant team, here is what we’ve learned:

No clue how long it will take to get a new liver.  Marc is blood type O so he has a good shot at getting one. The best shot is a living donor.  Meaning someone who will willingly donate half of their liver to Marc (actually it’s 60%).  The healthy liver pieces in both the donor and the recipient (Marc) will grow back to about 90%.  I am not an eligible candidate.

It’s going to be expensive.  Anti rejection drugs forever.  As it stands, Marc’s benefits run out March 28th (his birthday – see Coma story which I will put up.)  We have to apply for government benefits to cover this cost.  Which means we have to file some taxes we’ve “missed”.  Ooops.

So even though Marc is on the list, it’s still a long, bumpy road ahead.

For information on Liver Transplant click here.  

For information on how to become a Living Donor click here. 

Please sign your donor card.  Even if you’re gone, you could still save a life.



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