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November 22, 2016

My Second Chance – Katie Neely

By Katie Neely
I had a living liver donor, my sister Alisa. She was 18 years old and just graduated high school when she offered to give me 64% of her liver. We went through all our testing and she was a match. In September of 2004, we were scheduled to have my transplant. My husband's insurance paid 100% if I went to a Mayo Clinic. We chose Arizona because it was the closest to Oregon. They also paid for my living place and some of my food. They paid for my donor and I and both of our caretakers flights. The 21st my sister and I went in for the transplant. Unfortunately mine and her common bile duct were not the same size. They had to put a shunt into it to keep the flow going until I was able to find another liver. I was first in Arizona to get a liver and second in the USA if one came available. It took a little over 48hrs and I had one. A lady at the age of 48 had a brain aneurysm and past away. Thanks to the family, they donated her organs. The night of the 24th, I and two kidney recipients went in at the same time and had our transplants. I healed quickly and was only in the hospital for 18 days and only in Arizona until the 28th of October. I had such awesome doctors and nurses and transplant coordinator. My stay at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona was the best care anyone could get, thank you.

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