Life with a New Liver

Meet Lisa. She’s a dear friend, coach’s wife, lover of Africa, and most recently, a liver transplant survivor. Her story will challenge you to live each day more fully.

“We’ll be there in 7 minutes.” Those are the last words I remember from my care flight. Although I can’t recall much from the week of February 2, 2014, I realize God performed a miracle in my life.

On Sunday afternoon, I went in for a routine gallbladder removal—or so I thought—but God had different plans. After the surgery, my general surgeon was concerned about my liver. An MRI revealed that I had developed a rare liver condition called Budd Chiari. This was caused by an undiagnosed blood disease named Polycythemia Vera.

Only one in a million people develop this condition which ultimately led to acute liver, kidney, and respiratory failure. I was care flown to Baylor Dallas and put on continuous kidney dialysis.

The transplant board met and decided that I needed to be put at the top of the transplant waiting list. The surgeons gave me 48 hours to live. God performed another miracle when he provided a liver for me in just 13 hours!

The transplant was a success, and I am now a liver transplant survivor. God orchestrated so many miraculous details and moved so many mountains to save my life.

Here are the lessons that I’ve learned which helped get me through my sickness:

The Bible says that we will face trials. We aren’t promised a pain-free life. Looking at Job and his journey encouraged me so much. Job endured much. Yet God allowed the suffering because He had a great and perfect plan for Job’s life.

Isaiah 64:8 says, “…we are all the work of your hand.” God molded me and knew that I would need a liver transplant at age 25. My body is perfect to Him. I have learned to thank Him for trusting me enough to have this deficiency. What an honor. I pray that everyone reading this would realize that God has made you perfectly—no matter what difficulty or diseases you may have.

We may not understand why God allows an illness or situation. Yet we can trust Him and His plan even if we don’t understand it. His plan is always greater than ours. He has never been surprised by a disease. He knows every detail of the battle you face daily.

Sometimes we look at our circumstances so close up, but if we take a step back and realize that God is looking at the whole picture, we gain a better perspective. We have one piece of the puzzle, but God holds the entire puzzle and is fitting it together perfectly.

God has taught me to wake up every day and be thankful that I am alive to make a difference in the world. Celebrate birthdays, celebrate life, and enjoy time with friends and family. Relationships are so important. Invest in them!

Everyone we meet is fighting a battle that we may know nothing about—so be kind. I may look normal from the outside, other than my scars, but my body is forever fighting a battle. 

My prayer for you is that you will choose joy each day despite your circumstances. God is working on you and through you during this season. People are watching the way you react to sickness and struggles.

May people see more of God in us and His light shining through us. God has trusted you with the journey you are on. Draw near to Him and you will glorify Him with your perfect story!

Amanda DeWitt is a freelance writer, coach's wife, and mom. She completed her bachelor’s at Dallas Baptist University and holds a M.A. in media and communication from Dallas Theological Seminary. When she's not typing away at her computer, she's chasing her two little boys or watching her husband coach high school football.