So Here’s What’s Going On…

I am blogging here to keep folks up to date on my upcoming surgery and ask you to pray. On February 15 I will be a living liver donor for Gay Scott. They will take half of my liver and transplant it into Gay. Both halves will grow into a full liver in each of us.

The surgery will take place at Northwestern Medical Center in Chicago. I will be in the hospital for a couple of nights and then stay at a hotel nearby so they can monitor my liver function and other things for two weeks. Gay will need to stay in the hospital a bit longer.

Many have asked how I decided to do this. I have known Gay since we moved to Illinois in 1993 for Rick to attend Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her daughter Suzanne was one of the first women I met there. She lived around the corner and we quickly became good friends. We all attended the same church. As a couple with two very small children we looked up to Gay and Roger as a Godly couple and wonderful parents.

Gay contracted hepatitis C years ago as a nurse, before precautions like gloves were the norm. Hep C attacks the liver and as the illness progressed her liver function declined. Last fall Suzanne emailed some people and said that her mom was looking for a living liver donor and gave a number to call if we wanted to find out more. I made the call, passed the first round of questions, and in December, flew up to be evaluated at Northwestern. Right before Christmas they called and told me I was a great candidate to be her donor.

Three things kept running through my mind. The first was the amazing fact that God created our livers to regenerate to the exact right size for our body. When babies receive part of an adult liver it actually grows along with the child until it reaches the appropriate adult size! The second thing that I kept thinking was that this is an opportunity to literally save a life. And while I know that God has numbered all of our days and He is in complete control, I have the opportunity to be the means by which he prolongs Gay’s life so that she can live for His glory. The last thing I kept turning over and over in my head is that if I, or someone I loved, were in need of a liver I would hope that someone would do this for us.

So Rick and I talked and prayed and talked and prayed. We talked to the kids. And we decided to move forward.
The surgery, as I said, will take place on Tuesday, February 15. I will head up there on Friday, February 11 for a pre-op workup. Rick will go with me and stay until I am out of the hospital. I will travel home on March 2.

The recovery for me will be the usual abdominal surgery issues, plus some pretty major fatigue for the first month, lessening in the second. I should feel pretty normal after three months as most donors’ livers are fully grown back by the three month mark. I have to refrain from strenuous activity for six weeks and I’m wondering how in the world I will survive without my spinning classes for that long! I may have to go and ride “downhill” after a few weeks of lounging around!
So…I will keep you posted here on how everything goes. You can subscribe to this blog to receive an email notification when we make a new post. Rick will be in the waiting room on surgery day with Roger, Suzanne, and other family members so they will post that day.
Please pray for both our surgeries to go well, for no complications, for Gay’s body to accept my (half) liver and for both of our livers to grow and our bodies to heal on schedule.
I appreciate all of you so much and am deeply grateful to God for my friends and family, literally around the world.




14 thoughts on “So Here’s What’s Going On…

  1. Sonya, I am so proud of you! In this act of kindness and mercy, you are the personifying the words of Jesus: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (Sorry; all my memory work was done back when we only used the KJV!)

    I keep thinking about what you’ve said here: that you would want someone to do this for one of your loved ones. That’s so true. We would all feel that way, but not very many of us would have the kind of courage you’re displaying. And if we did have the courage, even fewer of us would have the willingness. You’re one of the busiest women I know, and everything you do is a good thing. Yet you’re willing to set aside your own needs, your own work, your own tasks and do this.

    You know how grateful I am that God can use surgeons to heal our bodies. I pray that this transplant is gloriously successful and that both you and Gay will be up and feeling wonderful very soon. Won’t it be fun for the two of you to celebrate? 🙂

    Love you!

  2. Praying the Great Physician is with you both and believing His will shall be accomplished. Praying for peace for your families as well.

  3. Sonya,
    Awesome. Amazing. What an incredible double gift–both the liver and the story you’re sharing with the rest of us. We’ll be praying for sure. I’m so glad there are people like you out there!
    Love, Daniele for all the dixiejax

  4. Thank you for your blogsplanation, Sonya. (Yes, that is a real word, as I just made it up, and I am after all an English-American). Lynn, Sarah, Rachel and I will all be praying for Gay, for you, and your wonderful family during this time. Love to you so much!!

  5. Proverbs 3:27, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it.” True compassion is not just having empathy but being moved to action. What a great expression of biblical compassion! Sonya and Rick, it is wonderful to see the evidence of the Lord’s good work in you as you have listened to Him. I love you and will be praying for you all as you trust God in this act of obedience and compassion.

  6. Sonya (and your whole family really),

    What a testimony to our loving God and His grace … and your trust in Him. Will be praying for good recovery all along the journey and will miss you in class. Let us know when Rick or the family needs anything (like food or a bed).


  7. Sonay! You are an amazing woman and an inspiration to me still! I endeavour to be a minute fraction of a blessing that you have been to me and clearly to your friend Gay. I love you and will be praying lots for your surgeries and a speedy recovery!


  8. Sonya and Rick,
    Praying for you every day until you come home, and then…..continuing to pray and believe our lovingkind Lord for His best for all of you in this journey.

    I am sobered and in awe.

    Grace and peace to you,
    Rebecca Weiss (Crossroads class)

  9. Sonya, I’ve known you since you were a newlywed! You and Rick prayed for me when I had a serious medical situation. I am so proud of you, and so privileged to pray for you now. I truly believe that Jesus will be in those operating rooms tomorrow, smiling at you both, and guiding the physicians hands. Revelation 5:8, and 8:3,4 tell us that prayers of the saints go before God as incense, so I know this collective prayer offering from all of us who know you, and love you and Gay, will please Him. In the early morning hour, when our walking group troops through the streets of Southside Place (remember?!) you and Gay will be prayed for, and for the days/weeks to come. To God be the glory, Amen!

  10. Hi Sonya,
    I just “happened” to click on this while on FB- as in, I don’t think it was random to click on it the day of your surgery! Anyway I don’t think we know each other but I will take this as a sign to pray for you- please keep the updates coming and I am so encouraged by the courageousness and strength/ faith He has given your family- God is amazing and I look forward to hearing how He continues to work and unfold this story. I am encouraged and I’m sure God is so pleased at your faith as we seek to follow your example. Blessings and God, please guide the surgeon’s hands today in Jesus’ name.

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