“If Dr. Di Bisceglie tells me to do it, I do it!” Eric Boyd is a retired letter carrier who is happy to be old. “Not everybody gets the chance to grow old.” He has been retired for twelve years and cherishes the time he gets to spend with his children and grandchildren. They are “the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” according to this still energetic man. Eric is a graduate of Webster Groves High School where he participated in multiple sports and is grateful to have had the guidance of his grandmother who raised him. He hopes to follow in her footsteps and live to the age of 106. When he was diagnosed with liver disease, he made a promise to himself. “If Dr. Di Bisceglie tells me to do it, I do it!” That plan has worked well for him so far.
“I remember bargaining with God to let me see my sons grow up, and thanks to a drug research study, I have achieved that goal.” Mary Ann Eggleston is one of the lucky ones. Her medical background as a nurse gave her insight into the diagnosis she received back in 1987, but it did not prepare her for the major GI bleed that followed two years later. She remembers bargaining with God to let her see her sons grow up and thanks to a research drug study she is living with a fully functional liver, and those two boys are indeed all grown up. Having that privilege has given her the chance to give back by working with Faith Community Nurse Ministry and volunteering as a tutor for the Immigrant Refugee Women’s Program. Mary Ann is happy to have vigilant doctors at the SLU Liver Center who keep her calm about her disease. Life ahead for her will include traveling with her husband, Don, and living by these goals: have fun, enjoy life, and be kind to others.
“It’s magical what these docs can do.” Only a few years ago Glade was struggling with a series of infections and other symptoms. Not until he was getting a colonoscopy was it discovered that he had stage 4 liver disease. Hospitalized numerous times and surrounded by his wife and family of two sons, a daughter and eight grandkids, they held on to their faith and waited. A late night call in April, 2016, alerted them that a liver was available. After a few previous false alarms, this time everything worked and he woke up with a new liver, and according to Glade, “It’s magical what these docs can do.” What’s next for this retired stone carver and classic car lover? He is going to get his classic 1947 Pontiac convertible ready for a long celebration ride down the Mother Road with his wife Susan.
“I can pick out the best vein for my blood tests.” You could never tell from looking at this bright-eyed, energetic 6-year-old that she had spent a year of her life in the hospital before she was 2. Diagnosed at three months with biliary atresia, she waited for a long time for the new liver which saved her life. She is now an active first grader who exceeds expectations by doing gymnastics, and she and her sister Kamille are cheerleaders for their brother Andre’s football team. She is lucky that she takes very little anti-rejection medication but she has learned to be tough through bouts of rickets and a lot of blood tests. “I can pick out the best vein for my blood tests,” she touts. Her mom Kimyda attests, “Taking care of a sick child is a lot of work but it has made me more empathetic. I love sharing with other moms on the Facebook group: Liver Moms.” The future is bright for this first grader who loves to read and visit the library at her school.
“My new liver gives me a chance to pay it forward by helping people find careers.” Mike Menne is one in a million! That’s how rare Budd Chiari liver disease is, but he got it. The term longevity took on a new meaning for Mike when he received his liver transplant 9 months ago. After only 3 months Mike was back to work as Technology Director at LaunchCode, a non-profit company which matches skilled computer programmers with potential employers. Mike is happy to be able to now give 100% and have the energy to do his job of teaching and encouraging people in the field of computer technology. “It is a chance to pay it forward and help people find a career.” Previously a marathon runner, Mike has now joined Team Transplant and will participate in the Transplant Games coming to Saint Lake City in 2018. The new energy also allows him to enjoy more activities with his wife Megan and his daughter Olivia.
“Without my wife by my side, the good Lord in our hearts and the staff at SLU Liver Center, I wouldn’t be here.” Mark Moll’s first visit to SLU Liver Center was by helicopter, AKA, emergency! He has made multiple visits since that first one in 2001. At that point Mark needed many pints of blood and he requested “blood from good golfers,” a sign that this man would use his good sense of humor to get him through the medical crisis. Now, many years later, he is proud to still have all of his “originally manufactured body parts,” and is living life fully with his wife Jan of 31 years and continuing his career at United Bags Incorporated. Mark’s improved health has given him the chance to explore new hobbies like photography, do some traveling, and enjoy time with his family, especially those three granddaughters who live close by. “Without my wife by my side, the good Lord in our hearts and the staff at SLU Liver Center, I wouldn’t be here.”