For six years, Rick Wilson relied on hope and his love for his wife, Ruth, for the call that would drastically change their lives forever.
In 2012, Rick was diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and, soon after, went to UC Medical Center to be placed on the transplant waitlist. For six years, he and Ruth wondered if they would ever receive that call.
“It had been so long that we were wondering if it was ever going to happen,” Ruth recalled. “He kept getting sicker and sicker, and I was getting worried that he wouldn’t get transplanted in time.”
Finally, one day, as they were getting ready for Ruth’s 50-year high school reunion, Rick received the call.
Physicians at UC Health reached out to Rick to inform him that they had a liver ready for him, but with a caveat. The liver was hepatitis-C positive.
Outcomes for liver transplants at UC Health are consistently at or above the expected national average. The University of Cincinnati led research efforts to ensure that hepatitis C-infected livers are safe to transplant.
Rick established this was his best option, and consented to having the transplant. His care team at UC Health assured him that they could cure the liver after it was transplanted.
“My life was in UC Health’s hands, and I trusted them,” Rick said.
Although he was excited to finally have the transplant he thought may never come, Rick was also scared. He wondered if he’d ever come back to his home, his wife, family, grandkids or even his dog. But he remained brave and put his life into the hands of his care team at UC Health.