Michael Sage

My new life began January 30th, 2016 when staff at Tulane Medical Center were able to transplant my liver.

What an amazing day it was, but I will never forget the day when I had found out that my liver was in need of being replaced. In September of 2006, I was diagnosed at the MAYO clinic in Rochester, MN. The MAYO clinic is unbelievable with their efficiency and amazing staff. There I saw that I was not really that bad off, considering there was a child not much older than 3 or 4 who was in a wheelchair going through the lobby right by the piano in the clinic.

Once home, I began my journey at Tulane hospital. My life was being tested. Through many tests, conversations with my doctor as well as other staff members, I was placed on the liver transplant list in 2012. No more playing the sport I loved, Soccer.

Through fluid retention and weight gain, liver biopsies, many tests, an unbelievable amount of blood draws, a partial splenectomy, I managed to continue to work, although at a dramatically reduced pace.

Around 2013, I had a very bad car accident which I had blacked out momentarily. I had been taken to the emergency room mainly as a precaution but very concerned that my liver and/or spleen might have ruptured. Once the tests were all finished, fortunately, I had no issues with either of them. I found out my left hip was in needed replacement. I had been complaining of intense pain in my hip for awhile and one of these x-rays showed that there was no cartilage left to cushion the movement of my hip as it rotates normally.

2015 showed me that life can truly be tested, health wise. By far the worst year of my life. I worked just enough through the day to make it home and go to bed. This endured for most of the year. I took a leave of absence from coaching soccer for two teams in Gonzales. This was my love, having to give up coaching 40 girls. I adored training them twice a week and sharing my weekends at their games. Both of my daughters played on my teams so this affected my time with them as well. I ended up taking short term disability from work towards the end of 2015. I was hospitalized 4 times in a span of 2 months for difficulty breathing as well as low potassium and fluid retention.

The first part of 2016 I received my first phone call about a possible liver. I was placed on the B list and I would be selected if the primary recipient was not a match. I received a call that night telling me that they in fact were a match. Hopes were high but I was also realistic. Then came the second call on January 28th, asking me would I like to be the primary for this liver. My answer was HECK YEAH! Be at Tulane at 8am . Got there in the morning of the 29th, got my room, and was introduced to a lot of the staff. They ran a bunch of tests to ensure that I was the right recipient and I was.

After surgery was a blur but I do remember it all. What an amazing journey is has been. And it will be a journey I will be on for the rest of my life.

To the gentleman who gave his life so that I could live mine--I will always be eternally grateful. He thought enough to donate his organs so that many would be able to sustain a healthy and loving life with their families.

To all the doctors who assisted in the diagnosis of my illness to the transplant itself- words like giving, love, caring, unselfish, happy, knowledgeable are ways I describe the doctors and nurses who took part in my life's journey.

Blessed to write this,
Michael Sage