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“I am living proof”

Alma Garza, Liver Recipient, 2014

From October to November 2013, Alma had gained thirty pounds. She was admitted into the hospital where 1.5 liters of fluid were removed from her belly. Yearly check-ups had not detected the irreversible damage caused to her liver by nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

On Friday January 31, 2014, after being evaluated for two weeks, Lou (liver transplant coordinator) informed Alma she had been approved by the committee and her insurance but had one blood test pending in order to be placed on the transplant waiting list. On Saturday, Alma’s neighbor had a family friend who was involved in a serious accident. Those present thought she was dead but a doctor who was passing by stopped to render aid and revived the young girl’s beating heart. She was taken to a hospital where efforts continued. By Saturday afternoon, she was declared brain dead. Word got to the family that Alma needed a transplant. Cheryl (kidney transplant coordinator) was on-call that day. She instructed Alma to an ER to get blood drawn for the last required test. After hours of calls and intense effort, Cheryl had her placed on the transplant list only moments prior to the donor coordinator almost deciding to skip Alma, due to timing.

“I became a recipient of a liver transplant on February 3, 2014. A beautiful angel here on earth made the selfless decision to sign an organ donor card. This angel was taken from her grieving family and friends while me and nine other people were given a second chance at life. I am working hard at accepting that this is God's plan, but believe me; this post was not typed without tears. So many miracles have unfolded in front me that can only be explained by God's work. I will not allow my donor to die in vain without sharing her act of kindness. She saved my life and I need your help to SHARE how important it is to donate life. I am living proof that organ donors can change someone’s fate!” ~ Alma Garza

Being a huge Elvis Presley fan, Alma ends her interview by saying “How Great Thou Art!”


Alma is pictured here with her aunt, best friend,
and caregiver Peggy standing by her side.

 
Patient Stories