MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — “I see my kids, and I see flashes of things being missed,” Ryan Donohue said last March.
The Portland dad of four was desperate to find a liver donor.
“I see pictures of myself, I was yellow, I was green, it was pretty lousy,” he says today, after a miracle in November.
After his liver began to fail, he went to the top of the list of people in need, and within hours, an organ became available from a deceased donor.
“It was surreal, felt like a huge burden was released,” Donohue said.
Incredibly grateful, the Donohues have reached out to the donor’s family, currently remaining anonymous.
“Eventually, I’d like to meet them, connect and have a relationship at least,” Donohue said.
His wife, Stefanie, says the family is also touched by the many who stepped up to be donor candidates and the offers of meals, money, babysitting – you name it – that came during this frightening time.
“We are just so grateful and are so looking forward to giving back in whatever way we can,” Stefanie said.
The first month after surgery was stressful; he developed hospital delirium and lost memories.
“I had some dreams that weren’t mine if that makes any sense,” he said.
But after a month, that thankfully cleared up, and since then, this dad has inched back towards a busy life with the family, feeling more energetic each day.
While still battling Crohn’s disease, Donohue is making plans, looking toward a healthy future.
“Every day is a good day now. It’s, ‘What’s next?'” he said.
Nurses at Yale New Haven Hospital, where Donohue receives care, want him to talk with others needing a transplant – to give support and advice on the process.
Friends have set up a GoFundMe for the family.
If you would like to anonymously apply to become a living donor – to help many others in need – contact the Yale New Haven Transplantation Center – Center for Living Organ Donors at 866–YALE–TXP (866-925-3897) or online at ynhh.org/organdonation.