“There was no question that Saint Louis University Liver Center was the right place for me.”
Karl’s journey began with Dr. Bacon performing a liver biopsy in 2005 resulting in a diagnosis of NASH disease. Initially, Karl said he didn’t take NASH seriously but that changed when he had a relatively routine upper GI in 2016 which revealed a problem. This led Karl to Dr. Tetri, in February 2017 he went from having a relatively benign NASH liver to one having multiple large and small cancerous lesions within 6 months. “If it wasn’t for Dr. Tetri’s vigilance with a six-month cycle of ultrasounds my outcome would have been dramatically different and I’m not sure I would be here today,” said Karl.
After Karl received the cancer diagnosis he figured it would be prudent to interview other institutions since it seemed he was heading down the path of needing a transplant. The other institutions had all the medical credentials but it was clear that he was going to be just another person in the waiting room. “There was no question that SLULC was the right place for me,” said Karl.
From that point things moved quickly and Karl met Drs. Nazzal, Varma, Vahessan, Desai and Befeler plus countless interns, medical students, fellows, and coordinators (this includes Brittany, his coordinator, who is a classic example of a compassionate and supportive professional.) Karl was placed on the transplant list in January 2018 and was blessed with a donor liver 9 months later in September. Here’s what made St. Louis University Liver Center a standout – there is a genuine compassion and sincere concern for the patient. During office visits it was typical to have 2-3 doctors, interns and nurses involved. The warm reception Karl and his family felt wasn’t just from the doctors but everyone they came in contact with including all the administrative and hospital staff.
“Love and gratitude go to my wife Kathy and my daughter Katie. Their constant participation in my doctor visits and their myriad of questions were crucial – they were my personal stars. Their support along with the rest of my family’s support made it possible to get through everything. I’ve been truly blessed to have a strong support system, be in excellent health, and have such a successful outcome” – Karl Reinlein
“I’m not going to allow this disease to hinder my ambitions.”
Lindsay focuses on a healthy lifestyle, works out daily and maintains a balanced diet. She is enrolled in two Alpha-1 clinical research programs which monitor her progress/any potential changes in her disease. Through the program, she gets a full spectrum of blood work and tests including an ultrasound every 6 months with Dr. Teckman. These tests ensure her Alpha-1 is under control and she is gratified to know she is part of a study seeking to learn more about Alpha-1. As Lindsay said, “I feel I’m doing my part in providing any and all information I can to help further necessary research, with the hope that one day there will be a CURE!”
Alpha-1 hasn’t slowed Lindsay down. She has an adventurous spirit and loves to travel. She has been to Alaska, San Francisco, St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola, Bahamas, Paris, and London. The love of travel was taken to a new level, professionally and personally, when Lindsay moved from St. Louis to Phoenix 2 ½ years ago for a job and is currently a Technical Project Manager for a software company.
Lindsay thanks both Dr. Jeffrey Teckman and Dr. Bruce Bacon for always being there to support and care for her, and answer any questions/concerns she’s ever had.
Lindsay’s hope for the future is that through research, a cure will be found. Currently, the only cure for Alpha-1 is a liver transplant and she looks forward to the day when a transplant is not the only option. How can you help? In Lindsay’s words “any donation, no matter how large or small, is greatly appreciated to ensure research continues and we can find a cure!”