I wager you are here because you are interested in learning about why I need a live liver transplant. I've tried to make this as short as possible to not lose your interest. I've included some helpful information in each section to help you in understanding my situation.Thank you so much for your interest in helping me. Please share this site with others even if you can't directly help me. There's bound to be someone out there that will be a match.
A Little History
First off, my name is Michelle Walsh. I'm currently 46 years old. I live in Florida in the USA. I work part-time, I draw, and I stream. I also have a husbean and 2 kitties who are on stream with me.In December 2016 we noticed elevated liver enzymes on my bloodwork. Later in 2017 I finally made it down to Cleveland Clinic in Weston Florida to see some hematologists. I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. We started a treatment of immunosuppressants and things were ok for a bit.Symptoms worsened over time to this impossible itch. I was then prescribed a bile acid to help deal with the itching. This helped quite a lot at first. In mid 2020 things got worse. The itching got worse and the doctors believed I may have Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC).In 2021 I spent a week in the hospital undergoing plasmapheresis. This is similar to dialysis. The goal was to cleanse all the stuff making me itch out of my blood. It worked... for about 2 weeks.While being treated with plasmapheresis, the doctors were able to confirm that I had an overlap with PBC. PBC can affect people differently. Normally you can live with this disease, but there is a percentage of us who end up needing a transplant just to improve the quality of our lives. I'm one of those who need the transplant just so I can go back to living.There's a link below to my CaringBridge site where I post updates periodically to keep friends and family up to date with what is going on.
Why a Live Liver Transplant?
Why a live liver transplant and not a cadaver? There's a thing called a MELD (Model For End-Stage Liver Disease) score. This score ranges from 6 to 40. The higher the number, the more likely you are to receive a liver from a deceased donor when an organ becomes available. My MELD is a 6.My options are suffer and live no life for the next how many ever years it takes for my MELD to get worse... Or find a living person who is compatible that is willing to share a piece of their liver with me.
What is PBC?
Here is a short video that explains PBC very simply.
It was made for children.
The above is a link to an article about PBC. I have copied a snippet of it to give you a brief understanding of the disease. I recommend reading the full article though."Primary biliary cholangitis is a chronic and progressive condition that causes inflammation and, eventually, the destruction of the bile ducts that run through your liver. Without working bile ducts, bile backs up in your liver, causing liver damage. This can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. But medication can delay and sometimes prevent it."
The above is a link to the whole article, but here's a clipping to save you a little time. I wholeheartedly suggest you look over the whole article though."A living donor liver transplant is a life-saving operation that allows a healthy volunteer to help someone they care about. You can take a piece of your healthy liver and donate it to someone in need. Both your piece and the transplanted piece will grow back to full size."
The above is a link for where to register to be contacted about becoming a potential donor. If you prefer to speak to a person first, you can contact the Living Donor Advocate, Martine Morency at (954) 659-6744.I've listed the things I know that can help you to figure out if you would qualify.
Type O blood - this means O- or O+
You are between 18 and 60 years of age
Good physical condition for surgery
Your liver is in good health
No habit or history or substance abuse (including alcohol)
Good mental and psychological health
CCF-Weston also does kidney transplants. There may be dialysis questions, just say unknown. I have never seen the application part until screenshots were sent to me the other day. I am purposefully left out of the registration process. But knowing a little about it is helpful so that I can help those who want to help me.