Archived Story

Mother’s Day has special meaning for local transplant recipient

Published 2:33pm Friday, May 10, 2013

Twenty people surrounded Debbie’s room and hallway of the hospital to show support for Debbie who had waited almost 12 months for a liver transplant.

“I wasn’t afraid of the surgery because I had asked God to wrap his arms around me,” Debbie said. “I could feel God’s presence with me.”

The surgery started at 8 p.m. and lasted for four hours until the doctors came out and told everyone the surgery had gone well.

Although Debbie’s recovery after surgery was slow with eight weeks in the hospital, her new liver functioned perfectly.

“We were tremendously thankful that God spared her life by allowing her to have a liver transplant,” Danny said.

Danny said specifics about donor transplants are not usually shared with the recipients, but they do know that Debbie’s liver came from someone who was 33.

“I got a young one,” Debbie said laughing.

Now, Debbie enjoys spending time with her three children and three grandchildren, going to church at Poplar Springs Baptist, going shopping with friends and spending time riding her pontoon boat on Lake Mitchell.

“I thank God every day because I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him,” Debbie said. “I feel great and I can finally do things on my own without having to have someone help me.”

Whenever Debbie sees a helicopter fly overhead she always excitedly stops and pauses for a moment wondering if the helicopter might be carrying a transplant for someone else.

“Helicopters are very special to me now,” Debbie said. “When I was laying in my hospital bed I could hear the helicopter approaching UAB and I knew it was bringing me the thing that would help save my life.”

Dan Wright said the exact plans for Mother’s Day have not been finalized but he does know everyone will get together and celebrate.

“We have a lot to be thankful for this year and I know whatever we do, we will just be happy we can all be together.”

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