Transplant Help

Transplant Help

From Cara Lageson

My daughter Juliana is sick and needs a Liver transplant. She’s been sick for 5 years. It’s so serious now that I’ve had to leave my job. I’ve spent a decade running hospice agencies. I’m out of funds and need help.

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Running a hospice agency is so much harder than people understand.  It’s a constant commitment.  It’s almost 24/7 work.  It’s complicated and it’s always urgent.  I’ve given my life to this work.  Too much of my life.  My daughter has been admitted to an ICU 24 times in 5 years.  During her admissions I just stay awake for days trying to balance both work and her health issues.  I blamed her.  “She’s just drinking too much and not taking care of herself” I’d say.  I’d send her to rehabs and to therapy.   All paid for out of my savings because she had no insurance. Hospital bills and medications emptied what I had quickly.  Pretty soon I was just working to care for her. 

She’s my youngest and almost a reincarnation of me.  We are so much alike which is why we love and argue so hard. I was a single mother of 3 and just wanted to keep them safe and fed unlike I was.  So I worked so much that I neglected really being there for their needs.  I regret that.  But all I could do was my best.  My kids are wonderful humans.  Juliana is an empath and always loved deeply by everyone that meets her. She cares for strangers and patrons where ever she works.  She loves with all she has.  She’s a beautiful soul. 

One day her best friend committed suicide.  That day I lost Juliana also.  Her drinking increased because she couldn’t handle the pain.  For 4 years she struggled and drank to block it all out.  To make things worse, there is an existing liver issue that we weren’t aware of plaguing her tiny body.  Now, at 25 years old, she has cirrhosis.  It’s hard for anyone to understand or wrap your head around but here we are.  

She is completely sober and in the transplant program at UC. It’s an intense program that required many types of therapy (regular, alcohol, psychiatrist and transplant) each week including her liver doctor, family doctor and gynecologist (she has lesions on cervix also).  Also because of the liver failure she’s full of ammonia and bilirubin so it’s like she has dementia.  Shea on several medications timed throughout the day. She’s full time care.   I had no choice but to leave my position to care for her.  

Now I need help.  I have to make it through to her transplant which will hopefully be in December and then her recovery which is 12 weeks of full bedside care.  If all goes well after all of that, I can return to work.  And one day I will help someone who needs a boost like I do right now.  

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