Katie Arnson

katie-arnson

I was born in 1989, and by Christmas time I was diagnosed with Biliary atresia. Bilary atresia is a rare condition in newborn infants in which the common bile duct between the liver and the small intestine is blocked or absent.
I did not have much longer to lived, so I went from University of Michigan and then finally to Minnesota. I was put on a waitlist and eventually in March 1990 my parents were notified in Grandville, Michigan that I was next on the waitlist and a liver had come in for me. At that time I was about 4 months old, and on the brink of dying.
I went into surgery and everything went as good as it could be. I was given a liver from a deceased baby donor. My parents were so happy that their baby girl had survived the transplant and the long time of waiting. Now exactly 21 years later on March 10 the day I received the new liver, I am still living and doing stuff that other kids are doing.
I am a high school graduate and I am almost done with my Associate in Medical Assisting from Davenport University in Grand Rapids. I feel like I have been given a second chance at life, and I think about that little boy every day. Since that day of getting my liver I have had hardly any problems. I feel so lucky to be alive and to be able to bring joy to my parents and my three siblings every day.
Even though I do not remember this whole ordeal, considering I was only 4 months old, it still sticks with me every day because everything that I do, I have to take my health into consideration, but for me I do not care. If I was not given this opportunity I do not think I would have been able to experience everything that I have been able to.
I feel so very lucky to be alive! I want to personally thank my donor and his family for what they have given me. A second chance at life, and I am so lucky. My favorite thing to live by is, “Take each day as it comes and enjoy it, because you never know when it will be your last day.” So please become a donor! Thanks!!!

Katie Arnson
Grandville, MI

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