A Story of Hope and Love Through Organ Donation | Lifeline of Ohio | 614 Mom

lifeline of ohio april

Meet April.  April was born with Biliary Atresia and received her liver transplant at age 25. She is the mother of two wonderful boys, wife, daughter, friend, and is now a proud liver transplant recipient.  I met April last month at an event for Lifeline of Ohio, and she so graciously shared her story with me. April is kind and strong and has faced heartache that no mother should ever have to face.  

Because April is passionate about honoring her journey and the journey of organ donor she has generously allowed me to share her story with you.  

What is Biliary Atresia?

Biliary atresia is liver disease of infants caused by inflammation that targets the bile duct.  Biliary atresia leads to blockage of the large bile duct that exits the liver. Without proper bile drainage, the person has impaired digestion of fats leading to poor growth. Experts don’t know why some babies are born with this liver disease but the research is ongoing. Children with Biliary Atresia typically need a transplant by age 5, without surgery biliary atresia can be fatal.  80% of patients require transplants by the age of 20.

April's Story

April  was put on the transplant list at age 24, while on the list she got very sick.  April wasn’t living a traditional life as a mom with two young kids, her life was filled with unknowns and real fear.  She would put her kids to bed and then when they were asleep just go in to where they were sleeping just to watch them and study them.  She wanted to remember every single thing about them, memorize every single dimple and the way they slept. She made videos for them so that she could be there for them throughout their entire lives even if she wasn’t there in person.  She felt immense pain and fear as she longed for just one more day with her family.

After being put on the list April received three phone calls that there was a liver and each time something came up which made that liver unacceptable.   On January 6, 2017 April got news that changed her life. She wasn’t expecting it as she was completely out of hope that she was ever going to get a transplant, but that liver was a perfect match and the idea of the future was promising. April finally saw hope at the end of a very long tunnel.  

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Meet April’s Donor

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Travis Bering was April’s Donor.  Travis lost his life due to Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis, which is when a blood clot forms in the brains venous sinuses.  This prevents blood from draining out of the brain and results in hemorrhage. Travis was the father of two young daughters who are now a very active part of April’s life. Travis was also a Marine, brother, friend, and lifelong hero to April and her family.

April met Travis’ family after his sister heard a radio commercial April did for Lifeline of Ohio. His sister, Autumn, messaged her Facebook shortly after hearing the ad to ask a few questions because she just had a gut feeling. After speaking they knew it just had to be.  Of course, they did get confirmation through the proper channels that Travis was in fact April’s donor.

While the pain of losing Travis can’t be erased, his family has embraced April and loves knowing that she is doing so well.  April and Travis’ daughters have met and have a great relationship - like aunt/nieces.

While speaking to April it was very clear that she loves Travis and wants to honor his memory.  She speaks of him often and is so thankful that because he said yes to being an organ donor.

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Important Facts about Organ Donation

114,894 people are currently waiting for an organ
2900 in  Ohio are waiting for an organ donation
600 in Central Ohio

20 times a day a man, woman, child dies because someone didn’t say yes to organ donation

1 person can save up to 8 lives

The doctors in charge of your care will take care of you and work hard to save your life before even considering organ donation.

 

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Eryn GilsonComment