Donna Carpenter

First post: Feb 18, 2020 Latest post: Jul 20, 2020
Greetings family and friends!  Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep everyone updated on Donna's and Ben's surgery and recovery.   We've already been deeply touched by love and encouragement coming our way. Please keep us and our health care providers in your thoughts and prayers.  

Here are the basics:

1.  The liver transplant surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, February 19, at University Hospital in San Antonio.
2.  Ben and Donna and their support crew (Okey, Sarah, Parysa (Ben's girlfriend) and Thomas (Sarah's boyfriend)) will travel to San Antonio on Tuesday, February 18, for some final labs and consultations.
3. The surgeries will start early Wednesday morning, with Ben's starting first, and Donna's shortly thereafter.  Each surgery will last 6-8 hours. There are dedicated teams for each surgery. 
4.  Ben will donate one-half of his liver to Donna. Because the liver has the remarkable ability to regenerate, each person will have a healthy, full-size liver in 6-8 weeks.
4.  After the surgery, Ben will go to the ICU for probably 24 hours. Donna will remain in ICU for 2-3 days as needed.
5. After being transferred to the Transplant Acute Care Unit (post-ICU), both patients will be up and about as much as tolerated, to decrease the probability of blood clots and encourage healing.
6. Ben's stay is expected to be about 5 days and Donna's 7-10.  
7.  Donna will be discharged on high doses of immune-suppressing medications to prevent rejection of the liver. This may require limiting visits at first but we'll keep everybody posted when she's ready for company.  
8.  Ben will reportedly be quite tired at first (his body's working hard to regenerate that liver) but should be back to full functioning pretty quickly.  The doctors say he should probably be able to play contact sports by 3 months post-surgery.

As you can see, this is a complex undertaking and we are fortunate to have an ace transplant team.  We look forward to successful surgeries and rapid recovery.

Thank you one and all,

Donna, Okey, Ben and Sarah