Her Story

Single Story

I wasn't on the transplant waiting list like other people you hear about.

It was January of 2002, I went to work, came home, cooked dinner and looked after my two daughters. I started to feel very unwell; it got worse as the days went by.

One day early in February 2002 I went to work as usual but I started getting violently sick to my stomach and my co-workers told me I was jaundiced. I left that day to go to Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital; the doctor on call told me I was not going home. My liver numbers were elevated severely. Upon being admitted to hospital and having blood tests everyday, my family doctor told me it was time to go to Kingston General Hospital. I was informed that I had acute hepatitis.

Days later, from Kingston I was flown out by emergency air ambulance to London University Hospital. I do not remember much when we got there, as I took a turn for the worse. My husband was told I had but 72 hours left to live. It was towards the end of February when my husband got the call that they had a liver but it was Type AB and my blood type is O+. The doctors in London said I was young and wanted to try that liver. Guess what? It worked! After two months in the hospital I was able to return home to recover. I was able to spend Easter with my family.

After a few months I began to feel ill again, the jaundice was back and also the internal itch. I was in and out of Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital and Kingston General. My bile duct was blocked so the bile could not flow. The doctors tried to get the bile to flow. During this time I had my 1 year Anniversary. I was so happy to be here. Two months later I was back in London University Hospital. I did not know what was happening. Mid April 2003 I woke up in the Intensive Care Unit where I was told that I received another liver transplant. This liver was a match.

I received the gift of life twice. Two wonderful people signed their donor cards. They are living through me. Thanks to those wonderful people I was able to see my daughters grow into beautiful young women.

Please sign your donor card and let your family know your wishes. I never thought this would happen to me, but it did. My family signed their donor cards right away. It could be you, a family member or friend in the same situation. Please give the gift of life.

Lauralee Cowan

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