Allison Perry

Georgetown College Student Looking Forward to Fresh Start Six Months after Transplant

Published: Aug 25, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 25, 2014) – The notorious "Freshman 15" is usually little more than a nuisance for new college coeds across the country. But when Georgetown College freshman Lynsey Farrar gained 15 pounds in a single week, she knew something just wasn't right.

 

When the Sparta, Ky., native came home for a weekend visit in late February, Lynsey's mother Sherra said her daughter complained of feeling bloated and fatigued. Her condition worsened over the next few days as Lynsey developed other troubling symptoms, including nausea and nosebleeds. When her eyes turned yellow – initial stages of jaundice – Sherra knew right away that Lynsey's problem was serious.

 

"I thought, oh my God, it's her liver," Sherra said. "I panicked. I knew she was really sick."

 

Lynsey's local doctors ordered blood work, which confirmed Sherra's fears. The doctor then referred Lynsey to the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital Emergency Department, and she was admitted into the hospital on March 3 – roughly a week after her symptoms began. Lynsey's blood work showed that she had Wilson's disease, a genetic disorder that causes copper to build up in body tissue, particularly the brain and the liver.

 

Wilson's disease can generally be managed through medication, but Lynsey's condition didn't respond to treatments. On Thursday evening, March 6, the Farrars spoke to UK transplant surgeon Dr. Erin Maynard, who told the family that a liver transplant might be a possibility in the future – though based on her condition at the time, Lynsey wasn't yet sick enough to be placed on the transplant waiting list.

 

By Friday morning, all that had changed – the teen's condition worsened considerably overnight and her kidneys began shutting down. Maynard's team took action to stabilize her and listed Lynsey at a status 1A – meaning that literally, she had been placed at the top of the regional liver transplant list due to the severity of her condition.

 

"Words cannot describe how I felt – like the wind had been knocked out of me," Sherra said. "After they put her on the ventilator, I was thinking that I would be planning a funeral because I knew it could take time to find a matching donor."

 

But in just half a day, a liver match was found and surgery was underway early Saturday morning. UK performs roughly 40 liver transplants each year, according to Maynard, and it takes a team of experts from various specialties across UK HealthCare working together to provide all the necessary care pre-transplant through recovery. In Lynsey's case, the team included transplant hepatology, nephrology, anesthesia, pulmonary critical care, medical hospitalist, and pathology.

 

 “I always tell patients that it takes a village to get someone through transplant," Maynard said. "In Lynsey’s case, this was particularly true. It's not just one person that saved her, but truly a team effort.”

 

During the surgery, more than 50 friends and family members filled the waiting room at UK Chandler Hospital, anxious to receive any news on Lynsey's condition. Back home in northern Kentucky, the local DMV became overwhelmed the next Monday when dozens of people showed up to sign up for Donate Life's organ donor registry, inspired by Lynsey's case.

 

Lynsey, who remembers little of her days prior to transplant, took the new development in stride.

 

"I woke up after the surgery and said, 'Did I get a transplant?'" she said.

 

These days, Lynsey's good health is a far cry from that first week of March. Due to her youth, previously excellent health record, and personal determination, her recovery has been quick and relatively painless. She played golf less than two months post-surgery, and has spent much of her summer working at a local pharmacy and staying active through golf, jumping on her trampoline, and trying her hand at other new endeavors.

 

"She called and asked us if she could go zip lining," Maynard said. "We said yes! We don’t transplant you so you can never leave your house – we transplant you so you can go out and live your life."

 

"I feel normal," Lynsey said. "I get tired easily, but that's to be expected."

 

Lynsey, who hopes to pursue a career in pharmacy, just embarked on her second year at Georgetown College. She moved into her dorm over the weekend and heads back to classes for the first time today.

 

Though she had to take a leave of absence for the last few months of the spring semester, the future pharmacist kept up with much of her schoolwork, teaching herself English, chemistry, and statistics at home – and earning excellent grades in all three, including a 98 percent average in chemistry. 

 

Watching her oldest daughter venture back into the fold triggers mixed emotions for her mother, who is incredibly grateful to the donor who gave her daughter a second chance at a bright future.

 

"I'm really proud of her," Sherra said. "I'm nervous for her, but incredibly proud."

 

***

 

Currently, there are more than 120,000 men, women and children awaiting transplants in the U.S., including more than 16,000 patients who need a liver.

 

The best way to honor those who gave the ultimate gift of life and to celebrate the new life of transplant recipients is to register on the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. The registry is a safe and secure electronic database where a person’s wishes regarding donation will be carried out as requested.

 

To join the registry, visit www.donatelifeky.org or sign up when you renew your driver’s license.  The donor registry enables family members to know that you chose to save and enhance lives through donation. Kentucky’s “First Person Consent” laws mean that the wishes of an individual on the registry will be carried out as requested. 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu

lynsey_with_team_branded.jpgphoto2.pngphoto2.jpgimg_1699.jpg
September
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Tue
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Thu
5
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Fri
6
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
#maxfest (Ukirklex Campus Ministry)
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Sat
7
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Sun
8
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Mon
9
Working Moms Connection
Job Club - Job Search Strategies for Fall
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Tue
10
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
The Future of Islam
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
Wed
11
9/11 Vigil
UKNABJ presents: Ferguson, Missouri: A look at media, politics and black youth in the U.S.
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
Duo Damiana, Molly Barth and Dieter Hennings
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
Thu
12
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Fri
13
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Sat
14
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Sun
15
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Mon
16
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Chellgren Seminar Series: Buck Ryan
Tue
17
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Big Blue Commonwealth
Wed
18
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Ryan Gardner Guest Trumpet Recital
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
Thu
19
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
The Case for Fossil Fuels-PEIK Seminar
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Fri
20
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
College of Pharmacy Open House
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
Diana Ferrus: 'Writing poetry has allowed me to live': Cultural Resistance in South Africa
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Mon
23
Pinterest Party
University of Kentucky Chamber Winds
Employer Showcase
Job Club - 10 Questions to Ask Prior to Starting a Business
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Tue
24
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
BPH Open House
Documentary Film Screening - Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
Wed
25
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
¡Baila!
Thu
26
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
Opening Night Bohemiam Festival
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
Fri
27
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Green Apple Day of Service: "Pick It Up"
Swing Dancing!
Sat
28
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
UK Chorale
Dirty Dancing Trip
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
#TrendingTopics: Immigration Reform
Apollo Duo - Flute and Percussion Guest Recital
Tue
 
 
 
 
Sep 18
LNFS Presents: Watermark 09/18/2014

Sat, 09/20/2014

Reset Page