Crazy Beginning to 2008

Quick update about me.

The year started off great for me but quickly turned sour. On January 2, I was heading home when I hit black ice and totaled my truck. The truck hit a telephone pole on the driver's side door. Luckily, the only car and person involved was me. I don't think that it knocked me out, except maybe a few seconds. I was conscious when a friend drove up and took me to the hospital. They put 13 staples in my head and did their tests which revealed a cracked vertebrae. I am blessed to be walking and I do not scoff at the new miracle God has afforded me. It's nice to know that my God loves me!

Once they called my liver team, I was sent to Emory to be checked out by one of their doctors and to make sure that my liver numbers were stable. No problems there and a couple nights later I was at home.

I have had to wear a neck brace 24/7 for the past 3 weeks and still have 3 to go but hopefully I will be able to get it off when I go back to the doctor on February 12.

Had a check up last week with the clinic and found out my liver numbers are GREAT!! I am now down to 5mg of prednisone a day. If everything is still good in March, I should be completely off of that nasty medication!


Couple of Interesting Stories

There has been some pretty big news in the transplant world in the past week. A couple of possible major breakthroughs in research have made organ transplantation without immunosuppressants seem like a real possibility.


In this article from Yahoo!, an Australian girl who had a liver transplant has miraculously switched blood type. Her body is recognizing her transplanted liver as her own! The girl seems to have had an infection soon after her transplant which allowed stem cells from her new liver to migrate to her bone marrow. This, in essence, gave her a bone marrow transplant which switched her immune system over to that of her donor. This gives new hope to doctors, as well as other transplant patients. Doctors are entertaining the possibility of organ transplantation and a bone marrow transplant that would give patients an organ transplant without the need for immunosuppressants.

Girl switches blood type after liver transplant in first known case: doctors


This article goes right along with the one above. Doctors are working on the possibilities and effects of a bone marrow transplant given with a transplant.

Doctors Report Transplant Breakthrough


In this article from The New York Times, scientists have taken a dead rat's heart and stripped it of all its cells. They left the valves and the outer structure for scaffolding for the new cells to build on. They implanted newborn rat heart cells and within two weeks they observed a beating heart which moved a small amount of blood. This shows future promise for organ transplantation and the rebuilding of human organs.

***Ethics questions come to mind for me at this juncture. When do we start playing and assume we are becoming God?

Team Creates Rat Heart Using Cells of Baby Rats


These are exciting times for transplant patients! Please do not forget that there are a ton of people still waiting for a life saving transplant. Research takes a while to develop and in the meantime many people will receive transplants. Unfortunately, many will die waiting for their life-saving transplant.

Please do not forget to take the opportunity to discuss organ donation with your family. If something should happen to you or some of your family, make sure they know that you want to become an organ donor. There are many people out there who will thank you for your gift, including me. Click on this paragraph if you would like more information about how to become an organ donor.