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Cirrhosis of the Liver Community
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Avatar universal

Before it's too late...

Mark is still awake and alert, and he is a man on a mission. He asked his Mom to share his story with others, in hopes that it may change someone's life. I think it's a great mission, and I am going to do my part.
Mark and I were married many years ago and had 2 wonderful kids Misty and Nick. Mark was a fun-loving party-goer who loved his beer and marijuana. After a few years, it became a problem... and played a big part in our divorce. After the divorce, the drinking got worse. He and I both eventually remarried and moved on with our lives. The kids adjusted. Their Mom was the level-headed, boring parent and Dad was the fun, exciting, Harley-riding parent. Both kids loved both parents, and both parents loved both kids.
Then Mark got sick. His liver started showing signs of the abuse. Small signs at first...weight loss and fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Gradually the signs got worse. He spent some time in the hospital, and doctors told him to stop drinking or he would die. He tried. He quit for several months, but the temptation was too much. He continued to drink for another year. Last August, everything changed. He landed back in the hospital and nearly died. He had bands placed in his esophogus to stop the bleeding. He was scared, and he finally quit for good. Cold-turkey, with only his family to help him. The kids were (and still are) very proud of him. After his doctors realized he was sober and detemined to stay that way, they made a deal with him. He had to successfully complete outpatient alcohol rehab classes, and he would be placed on a liver transplant list. Everyone was excited. It was a great chance for a new life! Mark enrolled in the classes and actually enjoyed them. He spoke to his class about his liver disease, hoping to make a difference in someone's life. That was important to him.
He had less than 4 weeks of classes left when he was rushed to the ER last week. He was told Saturday that he won't be getting a new liver. He was sent home with Hospice, and has "a few days to a few weeks left". Now our kids are devastated and spending as much time with him as possible. He is 46 years old.
The liver has many jobs. It filters the toxins from your body, helps clot the blood, and plays an important part in digestion/nutrition. A person cannot live without it.
Many people (yes, even some on my "friends" list) enjoy drinking alcohol. I hope you all read this post and understand that alcohol slowly kills your liver. There is a point where the damage becomes severe and permanant. Once that point is reached, it's too late. I can't help Mark recover his life. I wish I could. But I can help him share his lesson.
17 Responses
4670047 tn?1375734001
Thank you for sharing your story. I will do my part to share this with others. In fact I have an opportunity this coming weekend! Bless you and your children for sticking by him. I'm glad his children were able to see the strength in there father with his sobriety. What a great ex wife you are!! Your very strong to help out. Will keep you and the kids in my prayers!!
Avatar universal
Tinker, what a story!  God bless you all -
Thank you and Mark for sharing this - however a point of your account really "stands out" to me:  
Why is Mark not eligible for liver transplantation??  Is it because he's 4 weeks shy of completing the classes?...omg, please tell me that this is NOT the case?!
P-
Avatar universal
Originally, he was told that he must successfully complete the classes before going on the transplant list. Now unfortunately, he is too sick to go through surgery. He is bleeding internally and his WBC, RBC and hemaglobin are extremely low. He was given platelets in the hospital Friday, but the levels dropped immediately after the procedure. If there was a liver already ready and waiting, he wouldn't survive the surgery. His ammonia level at discharge Sunday was 240. It didn't respond to treatment at all last week. We have no idea how high it will go, because Hospice doesn't check it. His doctor said he will lapse into a coma at any time now. As of today, he is still awake and not confused. He is angry at himself for waiting so long to quit drinking, but mostly there is sadness and regret. Our son is 21 and his dad will not be his best man at his wedding. Mark will never see our grandchildren.
He wants to help someone with his experience. I truly hope sharing his story makes someone stop drinking before it is too late. Our daughter, watching him struggle with alcoholism and liver disease, changed her college major last year. She is now studying to be a substance abuse counselor. She believes she can understand and help addicts better, because of Mark.
446474 tn?1446351282
COMMUNITY LEADER
I just wanted to say how sorry I am for Mark and your whole family. It is tragic for someone so young to lose their life. I am glad that Mark has gotten a chance to use his experience with alcohol and liver disease to educate others. I think it will help him forgive himself for his own use by trying to help others realize the potential danger of alcoholism. We all make mistakes. It is never to late to acknowledged our mistakes and change. In fact it can help us to face our own mortality with a little more strength than we were before.

Thanks for spreading the word about the possible consequences of alcoholism. One more person sharing their experience and the lessons they have learned in this world is a good thing in my opinion, as there is way too much cynicism, negativity, violence. self abuse and abuse of others. As the song said...

What The World Needs Now is love sweet love,
It*s the only thing that there*s just too little of.
What The World Needs Now is love sweet love,
no not just for some but for everyone.

My heart goes out to your whole family.
Hector
Avatar universal
Oh, I am so sorry.  What a very sad ending for all of you. I Hope you can all can enjoy this bitter-sweet time with him. You and your children sound strong and wonderful. What a special girl your daughter is.

You all are in the hearts of many.
766573 tn?1365170066
Thank you for sharing Mark's story. I know it can't be easy. I am so sorry this is happening - to anyone at all and especially to one so young. I quit drinking many times before I was ready. And even still it is one day at a time. My father passed when I was in my mid-twenties. He was sober for close to two years but apparently that was not long enough to heal his body. Thankfully it was long enough to heal his relationships.
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