At 1:52 a.m. on January 2, 2017, they wheeled me into surgery, and my life changed. In addition to my life, my family’s life changed, and I got a new perspective of the value of life and what giving hope means.
I served my country proudly in both the US Navy then the US Army, where I was able to travel the world. I love playing music; however, I only play by ear. I cannot read a single note!
Going back, in 2004, my mother died of kidney and liver failure, and that’s when I learned I had inherited the same conditions. After a few years of monitoring and things not getting better, my health started to decline.
Here I was – a young man with an Associates in Science of Paramedic Studies, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Computer Science, and a Master of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Human Resources and finished all but my thesis for my Doctor of Philosophy, but I was getting so sick. I continued to seek the best care for my condition and finally received a referral to MUSC.
During this time, I was challenged to complete my thesis, so I used it to focus my energy off my health concerns. I had accomplished my dream of earning my Doctorate, but I was not getting any better. My wife was so positive and would try her best to cheer me up by saying, “Scott, you will get your transplant at the first of the year.”
In 2017, I went on a trip to Charleston with my wife for the New Year. While in Charleston, my phone rang, and it was MUSC- I got the call! They wanted to know how soon I could be at the hospital. I told them, “Well, I am in Charleston, so I figured 10 minutes.”
They laughed and said tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. will be fine. Knowing this was major surgery and the risk, I was nervous yet excited. That night, I just could not sleep, still trying to wrap my head around what just happened and what is about to happen.
I showed up at the hospital at 5 a.m. on January 1, 2017. I will always remember that day – a new year with a new liver.
Bad weather was presenting some logistical issues, but my doctor advocated for a way to make it happen. He wanted to do this because he said there would be no way I could survive another six months with my own liver. My transplant was on January 2, 2017, at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).
I have always had a passion for different things. I have always wanted to give back to the community somehow, so I would always be found donating blood as a youth. It was something I understood, but organ, eye, and tissue donation, I really did not. Now no questions needed – I am a volunteer with We Are Sharing Hope SC and Donate Life SC for life. I am proud to have become a part of this team and help represent all they stand for; I am just sorry it took so long for me to get here. Not only has this become a passion in my life, but it has also given me a purpose in life to educate others and not let them be who I was.
I hope that if I could just reach out to one person and educate them about organ, eye, tissue donation where they will know to make the decision and be informed. I hope I can continue to meet new people and serve my community and surrounding areas. Volunteering is my life now, and I hope I can use my many talents and education to help propel We Are Sharing Hope SC and Donate Life SC out there.