Ik Jumani

Ik Jumani

Liver Recipient 

To my donor hero, you’ve made a difference in my life. I’m taking care of myself and my liver, the greatest gift someone could ever give, the gift of life. I’m grateful and thankful, and I can’t express the gratitude I have. 

I had an infection in October 2019. My doctor prescribed Z-Pack & because I was in pharmacy, I knew of the side effects. One day, in the shower, the floor became covered in blood…I yelled for my husband, ‘Keith, hurry!’ and we rushed to Roper’s ER since they cared for me during my 2013 cancer battle. Upon arrival, I found out I was going through hepatorenal failure.  

  

My labs showed elevated enzymes, indicating organ failure. I met with the GI & MUSC transplant team, including Dr. Kotch. My tests showed proper kidney function but, unfortunately, issues with my liver…my cancer caused cirrhosis of the liver but wasn’t alcohol-related. The tissue was breaking down & my liver wasn’t filtering. It was then that I started the process of getting on the organ transplant waiting list.  

  

Gallbladder issues, fluid retention & abdominal pain, had me in & out of the hospital. After a 2nd attempt to receive this gift, I was added to the waiting list in March 2020. I received five calls and was told to stay by the phone, just in case a liver became available. I even went to the OR and scrubbed down one time, but it turned out this was not the liver meant for me.  

  

The 6th time was a charm (that’s how the saying goes, right?), but my nerves immediately kicked in. At this moment, I knew my donor’s family was saying goodbye to their loved one. I hoped they would be at peace with the selfless gift they were giving me.  

  

I woke up in the ICU on Nov. 11th. In 3 weeks, I went home and was happy, but I didn’t know how my body would heal and was worried about rejection. My appetite was gone, and I had no energy to walk. I looked in the mirror and saw a skeleton, eyes, and jaws sunken in.  

I was admitted to the hospital but was told everything was normal. Advocating for myself, I requested more tests be ordered. My doctors told me the stent inserted after my transplant migrated to my pancreas, piercing it and backing up enzymes.  

  

Thankfully, my medical team corrected it. I saw other transplant patients progressing faster than me at the clinic, realizing at that moment that everyone’s transplant journey is different.