I believe in fate and that everything happens for a reason…
I had been friends with Filomena Pasqua and her family for about 20yrs, which would include dinners and gatherings on a regular basis. One evening in May of 2015 I was visiting with Filomena’s parents, having dinner and chatting with her father Tony Pasqua who had been going through treatments for liver cancer.
That same day he found out this best chance for survival was a living liver donor. He and the family explained to me what was involved, how difficult it can be to find a donor and the struggles he will soon face while waiting.
Filomena and I decided to take the dog out for a walk and chat some more…. A few mins in I looked at Filomena and said I’ll do it. She looked at me stunned but also knew when I have made a decision there isn’t much you can do to change my mind.
I submitted my documents to the UHN within 24hrs and within days I was told I could possibly be a match. Weeks later I began my journey, started with multiple medical tests to see if I could be a match then low and behold, with all odds against me I was a match and we were scheduled for surgery.
On Oct 7th 2015, at the UHN Toronto General Hospital we had our Liver Transplant surgery. Everything went extreme well, they took 75% of my liver which is more than usual but I had a larger liver and thought would be beneficial to take more.
We were both recovering on the same floor, was even able to take walks together and within a couple of weeks we were back home in Ottawa!
Our surgery was over 3yrs ago now and we are both doing very well, we continue to maintain a strong relationship and reminisce about the surgery and our time at the UHN.
Since the surgery Filomena and I have been dedicated advocates for organ donation, even creating a group called Ottawa Donors. We host the Give Gala in support of the UHN as well as small events in between.
Being a living liver donor has truly transformed my life, given me an unexpected purpose and I am truly grateful for it. If I could donate my liver again I would, what’s a scar to saving someone’s life?!
Fate brought me to the Pasqua home that day Tony found out he needed a living liver donor and fate made me his liver donor. Everything worked out as it was meant to!
I encourage everyone to consider being a living organ donor!
Jenn – Living Liver Donor