Sherry Prentiss Tierney, Transplant Recipient
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Not only has my donor given me life, my donor has redefined the meaning of life for me. ...
My name is Sherry Tierney. I am a devoted wife, mother of three wonderful boys, and a retired elementary school teacher of 23 years. My health crisis began when I was diagnosed with a serious virus that had been attacking my liver, secretly and without any symptoms, until I entered liver failure and my only option was a transplant.
After weeks of evaluation to be a candidate for transplant and six months of many hospital stays, I received the phone call that I had been praying so hard for. A very caring and loving family decided to save lives by donating their loved one’s organs after a terrible incident that ended the life of their loved one. My husband and I drove to Phoenix from Tucson that Sunday night in February 2008. I prayed all the way to Phoenix that the liver donated would be healthy and would be a good match. I also prayed for the donor’s family, who I knew were going through a difficult time losing their loved one.
There are no words to truly describe the debt, gratitude, or love that I possess for the donor’s family. The choices that they made have, in a very real and very great way, changed my life and my family’s. I now have a second chance at life which will give me the opportunity to live longer to see weddings, grandchildren, anniversaries, and all the holidays. Since my transplant surgery five years ago in February 2008, I have had this feeling of eternal gratefulness that urged me to think of ways I can “give back” or “pay it forward”. After training to be a qualified volunteer for the Donor Network of AZ, I now donate time to donor drives where we encourage people to register to be donors. I also volunteer time to the American Liver Foundation’s “Liver Walk” and the “Flavors of Tucson” that raises funds for liver disease research. I am truly blessed and eternally grateful. Not only has my donor given me life, my donor has redefined the meaning of life for me. I am forever thankful for the love, generosity, and compassion!
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