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Emily Schulze

First off, I would like to gratefully thank my donor family. I don’t know where I would be in my life without your amazing gift of life. I am so blessed to have this second chance at life!

I was diagnosed with end stage liver failure in 2021. I was very, very sick. In July of 2021 I spent three months in the hospital. The fluid had filled my lungs, and my right lung collapsed. I was in the ICU for the better part of two months at that time. Over the holidays in 2021, the ammonia built up in my blood, along with the fluid, and I had a heart attack. I was in the hospital then for two months.

I had lost all of my long beautiful hair, that one hurt a lot. I had to work hard and fight. I had to learn how to walk again, and I was on oxygen twenty four hours a day. In February of 2021 I went though the evaluation stage to be on the transplant list, and a few weeks later I was added! Then came a miracle.

I was only on the list for two months when I received the phone call that a organ had been offered to me. I was so excited! I had my transplant April 30th, 2022.

After the transplant, it was like turning on the lights for the first time in years.

The first thing I noticed is I could breathe again in and out through my nose! In liver patients, you can’t clot so I had serious bloody noses that would make Freddy Kruger blush! No more nosebleeds!

I wanted to start walking right away, and I did. I was in the ICU for only one day, and I am so happy and proud to say I walked confidently out of the ICU! I have had an amazing support system! My Mother who never left my side, my Aunt who let me stay with her, my best friend who organized a fundraiser for me, and so many others! I can’t thank UNMC enough for never giving up on me, and setting me up for success!

A year later, I can drive on my own. I have my new pet kitty, Teddy. I am planning to go back to school this fall to obtain a degree in psychology! I do now know, miracles do happen! I am so happy to say I have my whole life ahead of me, and if it wasn’t for my donor’s precious gift, this would not have been possible. Thank you!