A survivor's story In May 2013, Leona Pilgrim was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, a disease commonly found in alcoholics.
But as a non drinker and with no family history, she has no idea why she developed it. But over the next three years, she buy burberry cape would experience some difficult health setbacks, including a major build up of fluid in her abdomen after Christmas 2015. "People that didn't know me would say, 'When are you going to have your baby?'" Pilgrim said. "I was back at the hospital every two weeks draining fluid." In May 2016 on the Friday before a long weekend, she had the fluid drained, but spent the weekend sick. By Monday, she was back at the hospital and was medivacked to St. John's for a more detailed assessment. "The doctor said, 'She's going to get a lot worse before she gets better,'" she recalled the doctor telling her husband Glen. The doctor considered a shunt so she could drain her own fluid, but it was determined Pilgrim was too far advanced with the disease. In late July, she was sent to Halifax to determine her placement on a transplant list. "The third day out there they admitted me because my kidney function was out of whack," Pilgrim explained. "They wouldn't send me back home, because there was no specialist for me to (see)." She requested to be transferred back to Newfoundland, and was told she could go to St. John's or Corner Brook. She chose the closest option, which was Corner Brook. It was a waiting game then, each day hoping for the call. On Aug. the call came and they immediately had to make arrangements to fly to Halifax. Pilgrim and her husband, as well as her mother and father, flew to Halifax for the procedure. There was so much to do before the surgery, including lab work and x rays. But she was prepared. "I walked myself into the (operating room) and introduced myself to everybody," she said, noting there were about 20 people who were there as part of the surgery. "It was hard but I didn't burberry belt outlet worry." It was a six hour surgery, and her husband was anxiously waiting. "The nurse would come out every hour to tell me what was going on," he said. After the surgery was over, it wasn't long burberry bags outlet online before she was up and about again. Less than 24 hours after, she was walking around. During the four weeks they spent in Halifax, they were able to see some of the sights and spend time burberry sale shop together, without the fear of falling ill. Pilgrim still had to be cautious, but it was a big difference from the previous three years. "This time last year I was living off chicken and rice soup and popsicles," she said. "I was sick all the time." On Sept. 11, she was able to return home to where her daughter, son and sister waited. It was the looks on their faces at how different she looked that was the biggest impact. It was reassurance that she was healthier. Now, Leona Pilgrim only has to see her specialist in Corner Brook every six months. She is doing well, and so far doesn't show any signs of rejection or complications. It was support of family, friends and the community that kept their hopes up throughout the ordeal. There were fundraisers, including a bingo night at the legion, to help the Pilgrims offset costs for travel and accommodations while in Halifax. It was a great help, they said. "We want to thank everybody that made donations and helped us anyway they could," said Glen Pilgrim. Between family, friends, coworkers, local businesses, neighbours and even strangers, they were very touched by all the support they received. When Leona Pilgrim knew her liver cirrhosis was getting worse in the spring of 2016, she thought of the success story of another Northern Peninsula survivor. When asked if she knew Craig House's story before her transplant, Pilgrim said yes. "Craig's story," she said. "That's what gave me hope. If he could do it, I could do it.
" House fell into a coma last March for several days. After he woke up, he shared his story with the Northern Pen to raise awareness for both organ donation and liver disease. When he was home in April saying what he thought were his final goodbyes, he received a call for a transplant.
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