February 18, 2008, Don’t take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here! Be a hero be an organ donor.

Ok, so I am sure most of you know that Mal had a liver transplant on July 17, 2006, she named the liver “Doug”. Mallory’s recovery went really well, she was in the hospital a total of 24 days for this first transplant, went home where she did very well and was able to return to school.

Fast forward to January 2007, we received a call on New Year’s Day that her labs from the previous day were not great and we needed to bring her to Egleston and plan to stay a few days. The initial thought was she was having a rejection episode which is very common in transplant patients. The treatment began but her numbers continued to go up and so more tests were done. The final diagnosis was rejection, Cholangitis and a bile duct blockage. Mal had many procedures and many stints placed. Finally on February 13th we were able to go home.

Mallory was in and out of the hospital several times for short visits over the next few months and we thought things were going good. On July 23, 2007 Mal was admitted to Egleston again, her numbers were elevated again and we thought we were dealing with another blockage. Over the next few weeks Mallory had MANY tests and procedures. Her liver was just not doing well, so after many tests the doctors realized her liver was just not working properly so on September 5th we were told she would be listed for another liver. She was actually placed on the list on September 7th. This is certainly not the news we wanted to hear nor were we expecting it.

After nine days on the list we received the call that a liver was available for her, the transplant was done on September 17, 2007 and Mal named this one Izzie. We are so thankful for our donor, not one but two families have made the decision to give the gift of life and we are forever grateful! After the transplant she had many complications. Her kidneys shut down and she was put on dialysis for a short time, but finally the kidneys did decide to kick in again. Thank God. A week after transplant she had some bleeding and had to be reopened. Mal spent 3 weeks in the Intensive Care Unit at Egleston then was moved back to the floor. She had a rough time after this transplant and it was much harder than the first one. I could go on and on with all the details.

Almost 5 months later, Mallory was finally discharged on November 30, 2007; it is absolutely amazing to think about all she went through. She had so many procedures, blood transfusions, platelets, frozen plasma, and she was put to sleep 18 times! After a week home we had to go back to Egleston for a week. She was having pain that we could not control at home; a collection of fluid was found between her liver and diaphragm so another procedure was to be performed. A drainage tube was place to drain the fluid and we went home after 6 days. Mallory had a feeding tube for a long time and it was finally removed a few weeks ago, however after two weeks the doctors decided to put it back in as she had lost weight and her kidney numbers are going up again.

As of today, we are doing feeds at night and she still has labs done on Monday and Thursday and visits the hospital every Wednesday to check in with the doctors. Mallory does still have a picc line in her arm for easy access for her lab draws so that she does not get stuck so much. Right now her liver numbers are great, her kidney numbers are too high, she is doing well, still having some pain off and on and still tired. But all in all she is doing well. The doctors have commented on more than one occasion that her liver transplant was one of the most difficult surgeries they have ever done and that she is one of the most difficult cases they have ever had.

I cannot begin to tell you what all she has been through in the last 19 months of her life. She has endured more in a short time than most people will endure in one lifetime. Mallory has such an amazing attitude about all this and is truly an inspiration, you can see this for yourself just by reading some entries in her guestbook. If you would like to keep up with us on a daily basis or go back and read what all has gone on please feel free to do so by clicking on the “journal” link, as this is a very condensed version of a very long story. You can also sign her guestbook so she will know you stopped by.