I am a liver transplant recipient and was in the hospital and ICU for several months. I never realized how ill I was and the process of getting a liver. I first met Andrew when my illness reached a point that I was going to be considered for a transplant. My wife had spoken with him a number of times and would tell me how helpful he was. I was skeptical of anyone really taking the time and effort to truly help both of us. The first time I met Andrew was when I had taken a blood test at the local UCLA satellite office. We got a call later that evening that I needed to come to the hospital at once as my numbers were seriously off. Andrew met us in the lobby and brought us up to the room. He explained to us what was going to happen and the process. So, for the next three months, I laid there. I was terribly scared and never thought I would come out of the hospital in a vertical position. While all the care was excellent, there was only one constant in our time at UCLA, it was Andrew. Every day I would get seriously depressed after being examined, poked and seemingly getting sicker. Andrew was there every single day to decipher for us what was going on, and to intervene when it looked like it was necessary. For three months straight in the hospital, Andrew, along with my herpetologist were our lifeblood in making it to the next day. After about an hour of my depression, Andrew would stop in. Many times it was just the two of us, and he was never interrupted or rushed. We talked about life, and we talked about illness. While I am not the most spiritual person, being on a transplant list and having to wait for some family to experience tragedy in order for you to live is very difficult. Andrew was there for us emotionally. There were many points in my care that I was ready to give up. Andrew would not let me go in that direction, and he pushed me to keep fighting. I did, and I can honestly say without understatement that without Andrew, I don't know if I would be here today. He was a blessing to both my me and my wife. I have received a second life because of my amazing care at UCLA and I plan to be as good a person as I can. Andrew kept telling us that at some point I would be where I am now. He kept my optimism going. After the transplant, despite not being our coordinator, he continued to come by every day to make sure we were okay. I will never forget what Andrew did for me and my family.
Note: This is Andrew's 3rd DAISY Award!