Hepatitis C by Randy
This is my story in short.
In 1976 someone tried to take my life by stabbing me in the side and slashing my left wrist, then targeting my jugular vein. I was carried to a hospital where I had to undergo exploratory surgery and hand surgery. I needed a blood transfusion from all the blood I was losing.
In 1995 I was disabled by internal bleeding due to cirrhosis of the liver from hepatitis C. The blood transfusion was tainted, or my assailant’s knife had the germ on it. In the 70's I was told by the doctors that they didn't know how to detect Hep in the blood from the blood banks that usually bought blood from homeless people and residents alike.
To get on the list for a transplant I had to be clean of drugs and not be an alcoholic. One year prior to applying for the transplant list, I found it easier to quit smoking cigarettes by substituting a joint when the cravings got unbearable. I cleaned up in time to sign up. I was put on the liver transplant list and given a beeper. Prior to the transplant, on my birthday to be exact, I had smoked marijuana thinking I was going to die before the transplant would ever happen anyway. All I heard was, we can't promise but we will do our best, for there were others before me. I was so close to death that I was put on the highest level of the waiting list. Two and a half weeks later my beeper sounded and I was given a transplant .After I woke in the ICU my surgeon came in and said he got the drug test report while I was on the table during the procedure and wished he never had given me one because I was a marijuana. My luck was nothing short of a miracle, for after bisecting my old liver he found a pea-sized malignant tumor. My body has never rejected the transplant even until today, and I've been told by doctors and patients alike that is vary rare; nearly all transplants reject during the first few months. I want to become an activist for I believe THC played a big part in that factor of not rejecting. If only doctors could experiment on other liver transplant patients that smoke marijuana prior to the procedure, they may find that the rejection rate may be lower. I still smoke marijuana and it relieves me of the post surgery pain I have even today after being five and a half years out.