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Patient Testimonial

“…and to Receive”

david pennypackerI had a genetic liver disorder that caused my liver to fail, and on May 3, 2007 I was put on the transplant list.  I entered the hospital on May 8; I wasn’t going to get better, and [Geisinger transplant specialists] were concerned I would go into a coma or catch an illness.

Helicopter after helicopter landed at Geisinger day and night, and I was wondering if it was [a liver] for me. I knew something bad had to happen to someone in order for me to live.  It was a struggle to deal with this. Finally, on May 16, I received a liver.

Words cannot explain how I feel toward the donor and the family.  To me, they were unselfish [people] who surely cared for others.  I would like to meet them some day so they can see how their loved one helped me.

We are very lucky to have a local transplant facility to serve this area.  It was easy to get to, and I missed less work.  My family was able to spend more time with me, and all the doctors and nurses kept us informed.  They were never in a hurry and were always available to answer all my questions.  I feel I received the best care; they kept me alive during some scary moments.

Thanks to Dr. Varma and Dr. Kotru and the whole transplant team…and to all who were part of my miracle.

David Pennypacker
Liver transplant recipient 

john transplant patientYears ago, I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease and was in need of a kidney transplant. On May 1, 2006, I was approved to receive a donor’s kidney at Geisinger Medical Center. However, due to the shortage of organ donors across the country I was placed fourth on the list.As a result of pure luck and the skilled transplant team, I received an anonymous kidney.

However, it was a bigger surprise to me to receive such overwhelming support from the community and from the staff of Geisinger Medical Center. The care I received was nothing short of spectacular. The transplant team, nurses and support staff from all sections of the hospital responded to my stay with care. Everyone took time to engage me in conversation as he/she carried out their responsibilities and created a situation that made me feel surrounded by caring people. It was simply magnificent.

As a long time patient of Geisinger, I have grown to be very appreciative of the presence of a major medical center. Perhaps I should not have been so surprised. Nevertheless, the process of receiving an organ from another person created an overwhelming emotional reaction that I had not expected.

To every member of the transplant team, every nurse, custodial worker, cafeteria employee, admissions clerk, anesthesiologist, operating room employee, and everyone else I had contact with, thank you for giving me a chance at life.

John, Transplant Recipient