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Jet's Story

Here is my experience. In the wee hours of March 11, 1981, my placenta previa abrupted and I was only 32 weeks along in my pregnancy. That's about 2 mos. early. By the time I made it to the doctor, I had lost massive amounts of blood. So much blood that all of my clotting factors were nonexistent. My daughter was born via caesarian section and rushed by airflite to a neonatal intensive care unit in another hospital. I was given the Last Rites (at the age of 21) and was laying in a recovery room where it was pretty evident I would ultimately bleed to death. After trying heroic efforts to combine platelets/plasma so that I would stop bleeding, they placed a catheter into my neck artery and began pumping blood directly to my heart. All along, I never really felt I would die and I didn't! Since that time, my liver enzymes have always been high but no one knew why and it was something I just thought was normal for me.

Like many of you, in 2000, I donated (or should I say, tried to donate) blood and received "the letter." The irony is that beginning in 1983 or so, the hospital had contacted me about being tested for HIV as they had discovered that disease and were contacting all patients who received blood to get tested. I was pretty nervous about that but each time the test came back negative. After ten years, I thought I was in the clear.

Receiving that letter after my blood donation changed my life. I have since learned that not only am I positive for HepC but so is my 16 year old son who was born in 1985. To be honest, news of my son's condition hit me much harder than my own. He has had a biopsy and has no liver damage. That is just great. We had our biopsies on the same day and I made a deal with God that I would take whatever negative results gladly if only he would spare my son. Well, I think He took my offer to heart as my biopsy was a complete failure-they hit the wrong organ and eventually, I ended up on Demerol with doctors apologizing profusely. The second biopsy for me was accomplished with all of the bells and whistles and went relatively well-inside a hospital.

Today, I am on the Pegasys combination treatment and it is kicking my butt on a daily basis. Since the success rate is so low, I sometimes wonder if it is worth it but at least, it's a shot.

When I think back on the day my daughter was born, I know there were no options but to perform transfusions or I would have died. Still, it would be nice to wake up sometimes and feel like my old self. Maybe that's too much to ask but I am not ready to accept that this is my fate forever.

Thanks for reading.





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