Walton Tribune: Monroe resident gets new liver, new lease on life
MONROE — James Clark was in dire straits earlier this year, when The Tribune spoke to him about his struggle to deal with a failing liver even as Social Security sought to withhold coverage.
Now, a few months later, he has a new liver and a new lease on life.
Thanks to intervention from U.S. Rep. Rod Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, whose staff helped clear up the issue with his Social Security checks, Clark was able to check into a hospital as his liver failure — caused due to complications from Hepatitis C — grew steadily worse.
“I was in (Clearview Regional Medical Center) for about a month when I started to experience kidney failure, so they sent me to Emory,” Clark said.
And then, the week before Thanksgiving, Clark got the good news.
“They told me they found me a liver,” Clark said. “I was in surgery soon after and was in there for about 12 hours.”
A week later, after a day in the Intensive Care Unit and meeting all the requirements, Clark was finally able to go home in better health he’d enjoyed in months.
“I feel great,” he said. “I hadn’t been home in three months and it was so good to be back.”
There are still considerations for Clark’s health — he’s on a regimen of anti-rejection drugs and must still visit Emory regularly for blood tests and to speak with his surgeon to ensure the liver will remain viable - but things are going well to date.
“So far my liver is doing great,” Clark said.
And Clark hopes to honor his donor in the years to come.
“I feel thankful to my donor,” Clark said. “I’m just so appreciative. I’m carrying someone else now. It’s not just my liver or my life now. It gives you a different outlook on life.”
As Clark works to get back on his feet — he hopes to eventually start looking for work again once his health stabilizes more — he just feels grateful to everyone who helped him get to this point.
“I have a new liver and a new lease on life,” Clark said. “I’m going to live life to the fullest and healthiest.”
Original article available here.