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
October
 
 
 
1
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Wed
2
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Thu
3
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Fri
4
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Sat
5
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Sun
6
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Mon
7
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Tue
8
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Wed
9
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Thu
10
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Fri
11
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Sat
12
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Sun
13
 
Mon
14
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
Tue
15
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Wed
16
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
Thu
17
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Fri
18
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Sat
19
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Sun
20
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Mon
21
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Tue
22
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Wed
23
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
Thu
24
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Fri
25
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
26
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
Sun
27
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Mon
28
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Tue
29
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Wed
30
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
Thu
31
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
Fri
 
Oct 20
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester 10/20/2014

Mon, 10/20/2014

Reset Page