Barbara Gould Needs a New Liver
As many of you know, my mother, Barbara Gould, has been diagnosed with progressive liver disease. In March 2020, Barbara caught Covid. This was well before vaccines and even before much of the science around treating Covid emerged. My mom’s fight with Covid continued through 92 grueling days in various hospitals between Boulder and Denver. It included 65 days on life support including hooked up to an ECMO machine. After nearly a year of recovering physically and emotionally, we thought Barbara was going to be able to finally enjoy the incredible gift of life that she was given. Unfortunately, that gift was quickly taken away as the doctors found that Covid had caused severe damage to Barbara’s liver. Over the last 2 years, my mom’s liver function has progressively worsened along with her quality of life. She is continuously battling fatigue, brain fog, feeling freezing cold, and itching all over her body. At this time, her doctors believe that her best chance for survival will be a live liver donation. Soon.
Who is Barbara Gould?
To me, she’s my rock, my champion, my best friend, my momma. She’s also the mom of my amazing little brother, Sam, who, in my opinion, is a big momma’s boy and her other biggest fan. She’s the wife of the awe-inspiring Allen Taggart, to her husband of 37 glorious years. His bride - the love of each others’ lives. He’s stayed by her side through all of this - feeling her pain, advocating for her and holding her hand through every second. She’s Nana to Sully and his little brother or sister who will be joining us in July. She’s mother-in-law to Amanda and Brian. She’s an aunt, a sister-in-law, a friend, an advocate, a warrior for social justice. She’s a selfless, strong, fighter.
Barbara has spent her whole life giving to others. She helped to open the Boulder County Safehouse in the 70’s. She volunteered at the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center and served on their board ensuring access to healthcare for women and teens. As a social worker, my mom helped to settle hundreds of Jewish refugees fleeing the former Soviet Union. As a social worker and Outreach Director at Congregation Har HaShem, my mom worked with individuals and families experiencing crises, illness and end of life. She organized and provided care, food to friends and strangers, and ensured that those needing resources had access.
And now as all of this agony is happening in her own life, she’s most worried about how everyone else is doing.
So now, we are looking for someone who can give Barbara the gift that she’s been able to give to others over the last many years.
“What’s a live liver donation?”
The liver is a really incredible organ. A live donor can donate a portion of his or her liver to Barbara and will have a fully regenerated liver within a few weeks. The portion donated will also regenerate into a full liver for Barbara within a few months.
“Why not get a deceased donor?”
The wait for a deceased donor organ can be years. Many patients waiting for those organs die while on the transplant list. Live donor transplants also have outcomes that are as good as - or better than - those who receive a deceased donor. In some cases, this is because the recipient is able to get a donation before the liver disease has significantly damaged their health.
If you or someone you know is interested in helping through donation and/or have questions about donation, here are a few first steps:
- Call or text Rebecca (me) at 303-810-8460
- I have been in contact with someone who has donated her liver and has offered to answer questions and help navigate this process.
- I can answer initial questions that may help you make an informed decision around whether this is something you can do.
- Go to uchealthlivingdonor.org (http://uchealthlivingdonor.org/
) to fill out a health history questionnaire if you are interested in being a potential donor. Or call 720-848-0855 if you’d like to speak with the Transplant Center.
- Make it clear in the questionnaire or in other contact with the transplant center that you are specifically interested in information about how to donate to Barbara Gould.
If you can’t be a donor, please consider helping our family continue our search:
- Please share Barbara’s story anywhere and everywhere. You can share our caringbridge page along with any of the stories about Barbara that were published documenting her battle with Covid:
- 9 news Covid Story (https://www.9news.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/colorados-sickest-covid-19-patient-describes-surviving-virus/73-a62fe7e0-d8eb-45cd-852d-0b80494d8dab
- 9 news follow-up story (https://www.9news.com/article/features/covid-19-survivor-long-hauler-virus-one-year-later/73-1db6b9e3-62d2-4102-8bbe-a521d8adde5b
- UC Health Story (https://www.uchealth.org/today/boulder-woman-survives-covid-19-thanks-to-artificial-lung-treatments-called-ecmo/
- Spread the word to anyone you may know that might be interested in helping.
- Send and share support and positivity! It’s always needed and appreciated!
- Become informed. UNOS.org and donoralliance.org (http://donoralliance.org/
) are great resources for learning more about transplantation and live donation.
Barbara has type A blood and would be able to receive a liver from someone with Type A or Type O blood. Positive and Negative doesn't matter.
UC Health has an age limit of 55 for living donors. If you are over the age of 55, don't worry! We'll need your help when she's going through the recovery process!