Life Without a Pancreas Five Years Post TP/AIT

May 19, 2016

Julie BernalToday is a special day for me. A day worth celebrating. 5 years ago today I spent 14 hours on the operating table while one of the best surgical transplant teams performed the complex, life-saving surgery and transplant called TP/AIT. My entire pancreas and spleen were removed along with part of my stomach and intestines; cells where transplanted into my liver. Fewer than 1,000 had been done in the world at the time. I can still remember how severely sick and in pain I was the months before the surgery and how I was not sure I would even make it to surgery or let alone survive it. But I did! And I’m still here 5 years later! Recovery – it was and has been the scariest, hardest, unpredictable (but rewarding) jobs I have ever done. I can only feel humbled and filled with gratitude for the second chance at life, and for the lessons I have learned these last 5 years. I am here today because the team at University of Minnesota hospital, and because of my amazing family and friends. So I just want to say thank you to all who have been such a big support in my life. You all mean more to me than you will ever know. Each day is a gift and there is always a reason to smile. Truly – what an extraordinary life!

3 Responses to “Life Without a Pancreas Five Years Post TP/AIT”

  1. Linda Cleveland Says:
    November 17th, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Hi, I see your posts today and I pray for you. I am a post transplant recipient and in the last 5 years have developed sensitivities to food and smells. i;ve also had potassium, magnesium and sodium falls too. I eat only 6 things a day and can’t change it I react to it. Doctors can’t tell me why or treat it either. So I can sympathize with what you are going through. You are not alone.

  2. cathy grist Says:
    August 30th, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    There is talk that i may be heading for total pancretectomy and islet transplant due to IMPN chronic pancreatitis. Could you tell me a bit about after your op. Feeding needs and how you get enough nutrition.Thankyou.

  3. Jan donohue Says:
    November 20th, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    A very young and dear friend of my daughters is going through this surgery tomorrow not even 40 yrs old and has been in pain for years. Gone through dozens of procedures and had a stroke on top of it all. Reading this I hope will give me some hope that she may eventually lead a normal life

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