Multivisceral Transplant Patient Story
When stomach pains sent Denise Price to the emergency room, she didn’t realize it was the beginning of a journey that would lead to a multivisceral transplant less than a year later.
“At the time, I was in really good health – I couldn’t have been better,” recalls Price. “All of a sudden, I had really bad back pain. It was worse than you can imagine.”
Price suffered from a twisted bowel which required immediate surgery. Unfortunately, the obstruction had prevented blood flow to the area. Price’s small bowel tissue had died, and surgeons had no choice but to remove it.
After surgery, Price learned that she would never be able to eat again. She would rely on total parenteral nutrition (TPN), an intravenous supplement that bypasses the process of eating and digestion, for the rest of her life.
“Overnight my life became a nightmare,” says Price. “I was still very sick, always exhausted, and lost a ton of weight. I had to stop working, and my kids had to take care of me. Not only did my life stop; their lives stopped, too.”
Desperate to improve her situation, Price pursued a multivisceral transplant. One transplant program turned her down, but then Marwan Kazimi, M.D., Henry Ford Transplant Institute’s surgical director of Small Bowel and Multivisceral Transplant, accepted her case.
“I was at my lowest point, and they gave me hope,” says Price. “Dr. Kazimi and my transplant coordinator Nemie Beltran, R.N., kept things positive, but were always honest with me and my family, too.”
After undergoing a multivisceral transplant, Price says every day is different as she learns what foods agree with her new digestive system. But she never looks back.