“In 2009, I was diagnosed with liver disease due to a genetic condition called Glycogen Storage Disease. In 2019, I learned this had progressed to liver cancer, which was thankfully caught very early due to regular cancer screenings. I was fortunate enough to be placed on transplant list, and after a few procedures to control the cancer, my MELD score was high enough to be considered for the transplant.
A month later in July 2020, I received the call. It was a lot to process; I knew another family was dealing with a loss while my wife and I were also processing so many emotions. As scared as we were for the actual surgery, we were so blessed to have this opportunity. I was, and still am overwhelmed with gratitude to the donor who made the choice to give life to others, and to their family who went through this painful event in their lives.
I want to express appreciation for all who were involved in my care—the doctors, nurses and healthcare staff at UIHC—as well as the staff at Iowa Donor Network. Gratitude seems too simple and mundane a word for how I feel. Not only did my donor save my life, but they directly impacted the lives of everyone around me.”
--Matt Brewbaker, Liver Recipient