We Prayed For A Liver Transplant For My Sister & This Is What Happened

Her Voice
"Every ten minutes, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list. On average, 20 people die each day* while waiting for a transplant." — UNOS www.unos.org/data

For over 10 years, my sister has been in and out of the hospital due to internal bleeding — the tumors on her liver would erupt.

The bleedings would be sporadic and unpredictable. Once every blue moon, we would have a scare, sit in the ER until they would give her morphine to dull the pain, and then she would go back to work as if nothing happened.

It was apparent she was a miracle.

She was sent home to die during the first year of her diagnosis — clearly neither God nor we was having it. We got on our knees and prayed like never before — ugly cries and all. Over time, she miraculously, and unexplainably, recovered.

But as I recall, her doctor saying about four years ago after an episode, "She's not going to recover after this one." In other words — her now fatigued demeanor was going to be the new normal and she could die "again." I remember I wasn't having it, and walked out of her office in middle of the meeting.

She ended up recovering — our faith was too strong.


But last year, something tipped the scales and, at the time, it felt like her miracle juice had ran out. She was sent to the hospital yet again via an ambulance. She passed out because of the pain. A surgical operation was performed where they inserted a needle in her to stop the internal bleeding. Her vitals dropped and that is when I received a call from my crying mom to come home. My mom rarely cries, so I knew this time, it was different.

I recall praying a different prayer. In the past, I prayed she lived. This time, I prayed that God's will be done.

I no longer selfishly wanted her to live if she was going to continue to suffer.

While in the recovery room, the conversation from her team of doctors was different.

Even our experience and treatment was different. The once disconnected, non-empathic conversation turned into inclusive, connected, and compassionate communications that made my mom and I feel safe even while they were stating her fate: if she doesn't get a transplant, she could die because her liver took a serious hit, and the next one could be fatal.

They have been wrong before, but this time my sister agreed. She said she prayed about this so a few years ago she got on the transplant list. Only now did I found out that she would need a caretaker. I proudly volunteered.


The other most important thing was the long list of people waiting for a transplant and her low MELD score (Model of End-Stage Liver Disease — The MELD score is used to prioritize patients waiting for a liver transplant.) Thankfully, her miracle juice didn't run out like I once feared. Her doctors wrote a letter to the people higher up to increase her MELD score and chances of getting a liver transplant.

After two weeks, it was approved.

But the journey didn't stop there, it had just begun.

We returned home to wait for the call, worrying about what effect this episode had on her. Her once vibrant, round face was now thin and depleted. Her weight was lower. Her larger liver (due to the amount of tumors) and small frame was going to be hard to match for an organ transplant.

So, of course, we prayed.

As we prepared, a month went by with no call. We did, however, receive news that if you don't get a call within 30 days, they'd have to reassess your MELD score. This was the first time I felt fear. The thought of her being in pain always hurt me. This was the first time I thought, I hope she is not getting better. I was ready for a change. We all were.

Again, her miracle juices were still at work. We got a call stating they wrote another letter to extend it — which was not only granted — but she was bumped to the second position on the wait list.

One week later, she got the call.


Now, they say, you can show up, wait, and end up coming back 5-6 times to the hospital for numerous reasons, and may still not receive a transplant. But even after we called my mom to inform her, we looked each other in the eye and said it is happening — we could FEEL it.

And it did happen. The next day, and 8 hours later, the transplant surgery was successful. The doctors stated the liver was so big it took two hands to take it out. It was the second largest her doctor had ever removed. Later, we found out she had 84 tumors, two of which were cancerous.

Now, we faced complications. She had to have two more surgeries. One of which they found nothing wrong and the other so minor I forgot. A mixture of things caused her kidney to fail, forcing her on dialysis. The drugs they gave her raised her blood sugar, inducing diabetes, so she had to take insulin.

But the power of prayer, having faith, using sound healing — Tibetan singing bowls, spraying the room with sage spray, using essential oils, laughter, positive thinking, having affirmations and goals — carried us through it all. Also, what helped was reducing the negativity by only sharing what was going on to a very limited number of people until we knew it was the right time.


She spent 28 days in the hospital, 26 of which I was with her, because my mom would not let a day go by where she was alone, and if she was alone, it was no longer than a couple of hours.

Now, thankfully, she is back to work. Beautiful, vibrant, and cheeks so chubby, I sometimes call her CC.

During this time, what was also challenging was the lack of empathy and support I was given by some nurses, social workers, friends, and even some family members. I dealt with racism, mistreatment, and people taking advantage of the situation. But if I had chosen to focus on them, I know I would have missed the biggest blessing that God has given me, which is my sister, who has always been my resilient miraculous angel.

Her doctor actually told her, "Aster, you have a resilient spirit." If that doesn't tell you the power of prayer, I don't know what would.

So, pray on, friend, pray on.

Originally published at Medium.com.

Featured image by Giphy

These Are The Hair Trends Bringing The Heat This Summer & Beyond

One of my favorite aspects of being a Black woman is the dedication to our ever-changing hair. Forever testing the bounds, we love staying a step ahead while placing no limits on what we can do with a lot of texture and a little imagination. Our hair is a lifestyle and the art of being a Black woman includes our diverse range of looks we can pull off from one week to the next. Whether a sleek pony or beachy body waves, we can literally pull off anything we set our mind to.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
Judge Faith Jenkins And Kenny Lattimore Announce They’re Expecting Their First Child Together

Judge Faith Jenkins shared some exciting news with her social media followers. She and her husband Kenny Lattimore are expecting their first child together. The TV host/attorney made the announcement alongside Kenny and their adorable dog who wore a sign that read “Mom & Dad are getting me a human.”

Keep reading...Show less
Brandee Evans Says The "P-Valley" Finale Brought Her To Tears

She Comes First Podcast | Episode 2: "Self-Care For The Caregiver" featuring Brandee Evansyoutu.be

Stepping down from the dimmed lights and money-covered stage at The Pynk strip club, Mercedes of P. Valley is ready to write the next chapter of her story. The same is true for Brandee Evans, who plays Mercedes on the hit Starz TV series and is as resilient as the character she portrays on TV. Evans stopped by xoNecole's "She Comes First" podcast in partnership with European Wax Center to talk about the similarities between her and Mercedes, and what she hopes to inspire in others through this beloved character.

*Spoilers ahead*

As we all come to grips with Mercedes's long-awaited retirement on the season 2 finale, we're uncovering Brandee's reaction to her character finally getting her sweet slice of heaven after going through so much hell. "I literally cried [watching the last two episodes], I'm not going to lie," Brandee admits to xoNecole editor-in-chief Brooke Obie. "I sat up and watched episode 9 and I just burst out crying in the middle of it. I was llke, 'what is wrong with me?'" After fighting to gain custody of her daughter Terricka, Mercedes is reunited with her daughter while her adoptive mother Shelle goes to rehab. Coincidentally, Evans's late daughter Lyric, who sadly died at birth, would have turned 14 this year - the same age as Terricka. Brandee says she channels the love she has for her biological daughter into the on-screen bond between Mercedes and Terricka. "It's so crazy how art imitates life," says Evans on the podcast. "In a sense, I get my baby girl on camera."

When she's not filming for P-Valley, Evans has a second job as a caregiver for her mother Diana Harrington, who has Alzheimer's and Multiple Sclerosis. Evans wears the caregiver title with pride, as evidenced by the shirt she is seen wearing during the podcast. But it is forever a balancing act, which is both challenging and rewarding for the Tennessee native. "I've learned to stay strong, but know that it is ok to break," she reveals.

Watch the full interview with Brandee Evans above, and visit the "She Comes First' podcast page for more episodes!⁠

Blue Ivy Carter Now Has Two Gold RIAA Certifications Thanks To Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ Album

Beyoncé has had a lot to celebrate over the last few weeks after the release of her album RENAISSANCEand now her eldest daughter Blue Ivy Carter can join in on the fun. Blue reportedly has scored two gold RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) certifications, one for “BROWN SKIN GIRL” from The Lion King: The Gift and “Blue” from Beyoncé’s self-titled album. These gold plaques only add to the 10-year-old’s other accolades.

Keep reading...Show less
How To Turn A Hobby Into A Lucrative Business

There's always talk about creating a side hustle and having multiple streams of income, but what happens when you're already super-occupied, booked, blessed, and busy with the 9-to-5 you have on top of other responsibilities like managing a household, pursuing higher education, or loving on bae? Well, one of the best ways to leverage a great side hustle opportunity is to look into monetizing things you already do as hobbies.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Former Beyoncé Dancer Deja Riley On Changing Her Career For Her Mental Health

Former Beyoncé Dancer Deja Riley On Changing Her Career For Her Mental Health

"I felt like I was not enough. And my mental health is important. So when I started feeling that way, I knew that it was time to shift."

Latest Posts