I can't imagine how heart-breaking that was for Joel and his family. So when I learned about Joel's story, I felt compelled to share it. After receiving my life-saving heart transplant five years ago, I believe the Lord has set me on a mission to do everything I can to help others needing transplants get the same "second chance" this Sheepdog got.
Below (in blue), I have included some information from the Facebook page that has been set up to get the word out about Joel's situation. To read more on the Facebook page, or to drop him a note of encouragement, just visit this link - http://www.facebook.com/LivEr4Joel. In addition, if you are interested in helping, Joel can be contacted at this e-mail address - LIVEr4Joel@gmail.com.
Help us find a liver for Joel! LIVEr4Joel@gmail.com
Our friend, Joel Beeson, is on a liver transplant list due to complications from a genetic bleeding disorder.
We were set to proceed with a living donor transplant from his brother, who was a perfect candidate, when the transplant center changed the age limit guidelines, and now his brother is no longer a donor option.
Other members of our family either have the wrong blood type or are out of the age range. We are now reaching out to our community to seek a potential living donor candidate.
The criteria for a living donor are the following:
- Good Health
- Type O (doesn’t matter if – or +)
- Between 18 and 55 years old
- Similar Size to Recipient, or larger (Joel is 5’11”, 180 lbs.)
Additional info from the Cleveland Clinic:
- Must not be pregnant.
- Should not have any major medical or psychiatric problems, including dependence on drugs or alcohol.
- Must understand the risks of the surgery and follow instructions for short and long-term care after the donation.
- Does not need to be a blood relative of the recipient; spouses, friends, and even total strangers can donate part of their liver. The success rates are the same whether the donor is related or unrelated.
What is living donor liver transplantation?
A liver for transplantation is usually obtained from a deceased (dead) donor. However the sad statistics are that 80% of patients waiting for a cadaver liver die on the waiting list or become too sick to have a transplant during the waiting process.
Because of the complications of Joel’s bleeding disorder, he is at high risk of not surviving the wait on the list, and further complicating matters, Type O is the universal donor, so Type O livers are scarce and these patients must wait the longest. A living donor is a valuable alternative that helps save lives.
In a living donor liver transplantation, a piece of a healthy person’s liver is removed through surgery and transplanted into a recipient immediately after the recipient’s entire liver has been removed. Living donor liver transplantation is possible with only a piece of the liver because the liver has the ability to regrow. This process is referred to as “regeneration.” Regeneration of the liver happens over a very short period; it begins within days and is usually complete in 6 to 8 weeks. So, when surgeons remove a piece of the donor’s liver, the part that remains in the donor regenerates to nearly its normal size. In a similar way, the portion of the liver that is given to the recipient also experiences regeneration.
We are very fortunate that we have excellent insurance that covers the cost of living donor transplantation for the donor and the recipient. Our insurance also covers the testing and evaluation of up to 5 potential living donors to determine best candidates.
It is not an easy thing to reach out to people on such a personal matter. But when a loved ones life is at stake, you’ll do whatever it takes.
Please help us share this request to reach as many people as possible, and please, if you are a potential candidate, or know a potential candidate, help save his life.
Thank you so much.