￼Monday, February 25th our family’s eternal optimist, Bernice Ramsey, will undergo a liver transplant at Cleveland Clinic. Thanks to the generosity of a living donor, Cody Corwin, Bernice will truly be given the gift of life. In order to offset the costs associated with the transplant surgeries, months of recovery for Bernice and Cody, setting up a secondary residence in Cleveland and missed work days for our donor, we are asking for donations to ensure we are able to financially cover this life changing event.
Bernice has Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), liver inflammation and damage caused by a buildup of fat in the liver. Though similar to the typical liver damage seen in people who drink heavily, NASH occurs in people who do not abuse alcohol. For some people, like Bernice, inflammation and cell damage slowly damage the liver over time until it doesn’t work as it should. This same disease has already taken the lives of her brother, Mark, and sister, Jane. Without this liver transplant, Bernice would face the same fate.
Despite knowledge of her condition and years of attending the liver clinic at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, they rejected her as a patient for the transplant list when she became deathly ill. Luckily we didn’t give up on our quest to save the best person we know. We were able to have her assessed at The Cleveland Clinic where they put her on the transplant list.
Unable to meet the stringent MELD score criteria to receive a cadaver liver, Bernice’s best hope for survival was to find a living donor. Unfortunately, no one in our immediate family was a match. As we expanded our search to friends and family, a very generous offer came from Bernice’s grand-daughter’s boyfriend, Cody! We were initially reluctant to accept his offer due the magnitude of the surgery and length of recovery. Luckily for us, he called the clinic’s donor line and signed himself up. After all the testing and assessments they accepted him as a donor.
Bernice and Cody make the world a better place. She has been a giver her whole life and thankfully we have been blessed to find another selfless giver in Cody. He is truly giving the gift of life! Nothing we can do or say can begin to express our gratitude toward Cody. We will never be able to repay him for offering life to our Bernice. The least we can do is pool our resources to offer both financial security while recovering.