Fundraisers being held for transplant recipient

Jody Jackson is dealing with a post-op infection but overall she is happy to be alive and recovering in a Toronto hospital from a liver transplant she received June 8.

“I’m accepting my son’s liver so everything is good other than the infection,” said the 49-year-old who has a rare liver disease called primary biliary cholangitis. PBC is a chronic condition in which the bile ducts in the liver are slowly destroyed.

Jody, whose blood type is AB Negative, lived with PBC for about ten years before needing a transplant.

“I put a nurse here. She’s 35 years in nursing and she said she’s never met an AB negative person. I’m the rare of the rare,” she said.

Luckily for Jody, her son Nate was a match and was able to give his mom part of his liver.

“He’s an incredible young man,” she said.

Nate needs to stay close to the hospital for his recovery and is leasing a place, but he won’t be able to work for up to eight months.

“My brother gave up 80-percent of his liver and so now he has to regenerate the rest of his liver and that’s a process as well,” said Kailey Jackson, who went to visit the family Friday morning.

Kailey tries to visit as often as she can but has to work to help keep the family financially afloat.

“It’s hard financially for sure,” she said.

Her mom is hoping to be home by October in time for her 50th birthday.

Until then, Jody will focus on recovery, visiting the doctor, having follow-up tests, and watching the bills pile up.

“Right now we’re financially paying for an apartment here in Toronto as well as our home at home, plus my medical needs here. So financially it’s been a huge struggle,” said Jody.

Adding to the expenses when she returns home is medication to ensure her body accepts the liver, which she’ll have to pay for out of pocket.

Kailey said her dad misses a lot of days at work to stay with the family and many have stepped up to offer support, including a GoFundMe page which has helped the family.

The Moose Lodge on Tecumseh Road West is hosting a pasta dinner on Tuesday June 28 between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and featuring a visit from Minnie Mouse.

Another family member is hosting a yard sale throughout the weekend at 4500 Concession 4 in Amherstburg, Ont.

“Everyone has been so amazing and supportive,” said Kailey.

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