Jan Ross, Transplant Recipient

Jan Ross Register in honor of Jan

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I had always lived my life as though I was in a constant battle...

I was in Phoenix visiting my son and his family over Labor Day 2010. I flew back to Indianapolis on the red eye, and instead of getting up to go to work at 6 a.m., I watched the morning news. They did an interview with an Occupational Therapist who had had a pancreas transplant in Indianapolis. I immediately searched for and found that Indiana University Medical Center had one of the country’s top transplant programs. I attended the education, had all the lab tests done and was on the transplant list in about three weeks.

I had a follow-up appointment with my endocrinologist and asked him why I didn’t know that transplant was an option for me – his response was “you didn’t ask.” As you can imagine, it was the last time I saw him.

I had been insulin dependent for 42 years; this transplant was a miracle. I had to wait 6 months (which is a long time) for transplant because I had some antibody issues. I was called down for possible transplant twice before I received the miracle on the third trip. The surgery only took one and a half hours; I was in ICU for 36 hours and in the hospital a total of five days. I had an amazing recovery and feel so very blessed to have been given another 20 to 30 years of an active life. No highs, lows, unaware complications, vision issues.

I had always lived my life as though I was in a constant battle and the disease was not going to win. I chose to live my life and not be a victim of my circumstances. I have two beautiful sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law and two amazing grandchildren. My life is blessed beyond belief, and all the guardian angels that I have challenged over the past 42 years can rest now.

My husband and I relocated to Phoenix 15 months ago and life is absolutely amazing. I found out even though I am a recipient I can still be a donor and now am a registered donor.
The gift of a quality life is amazing.
Thank you to my donor and their family

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  1. May 8th, 2013 | Marylu |

    Wishing you and yours continued blessings. The 'because you didn't ask' is an amazingly popular response. Kudos to you for sharing vital information. XO, Marylu

  2. May 6th, 2013 | Anonymous |

    Tommy and Jan, I remember your wedding like it was yesterday. Tom, your mom was so concerned that day that the stress would make Jan's glucose bounce all over the place. I assured her that I would keep a watchful eye on Jan! Even though the transplant affected both of your lives, I felt that I was vested in the process. I would go into my clinic whenever Tom posted something and tell our head of endocrine about how Jan was doing with the transplant process. Jan, I am thrilled that you are living a full life now! Continued best wishes are sent your way!

  3. May 6th, 2013 | Peggy Ross |

    Jan you are an inspiration! I saw some of those lows over the years and how you gracefully handled them. You are an example of a "fighter" and that's what I learned from you. I am a donor already and encourage everyone to get on the list.

  4. May 6th, 2013 | Tom “BIG T” Ross |

    As the husband of a Type One Diabetic for nearly 37 years, and a husband of a cured wife for another two years, I can certainly attest that my wife Jan Ross was a real fighter...refusing to let her disease run her life. But the disease sometimes "got in the way" and her constant highs and lows with her blood sugar were surely an eventual early death sentence, just waiting to happen. The Pancreas Transplant cured her and she now leads a "normal" life. There are too many wonderful things to mention regarding how our lives, our grand children's lives, our kid's lives, our family and friends' lives have been impacted by this miracle so I will not attempt to elaborate. Suffice it to say that a transplant is a beautiful thing and everyone reading this should be on a transplant donor list. It truly is the "Gift Of Life" and undeniably the miracle of modern medicine.


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