Each November Katherine Raley from HICAP comes to speak on changes in Medicare.
My name is Brian Hinsley and I’m a Firefighter/Paramedic with the County of Los Angles fire department for the past 28 years. My wife and I have been married for 20 years and we have a daughter, Megan, who is 19 years old. In 199 I was diagnosed with Auto-Immune Hepatitis and started receiving medical treatment to help prolong my life while I waited for a life saving liver transplant. Much of the treatment and medicine was very foreign and unimaginable to me. As my body deteriorated and my conditioned worsened I had over 100 paracentesis procedures performed for the ascites accumulation in my abdomen, as much as 14 liters, and three tips (transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt) procedures to help relieve pressure from my portal vein. There were numerous week long stays in ICU due to sepsis from my bodies immune system inability to fight off infection, I was placed on inactive unable to perform status at work in 1997 and the national transplant list in 1998. I became unable to take care of myself as I lost over 85 pounds and relied entirely on my wife to care for me. Over the next 2 years I spent longer periods in the hospital with numerous aliments associated with my failing liver. I had three different offers for a liver until, finally on March 21, 2000. I received my fourth offer and ultimately very successful liver transplant. During my recovery it became very apparent how fortunate I was to have had the faith, support of my family and the gift of life from an organ donor. I wanted to do as much as possible to prove myself as a worthy steward of this and possible return to my job as a firefighter paramedic. Six months after my transplant against all odds, I was able to return to work as a Firefighter/Paramedic. This was revolutionary as I became the first liver transplant recipient to do so. The years following have been nothing but amazing for myself and family. I’ve been able to raise a family as a healthy and happy husband and father, and continue to work for another 16 years. Life after transplant has its unique challenges and rewards. Today I’m very fortunate to have had a second chance to live and appreciate life. I have competed in numerous United States Transplant Games where myself and family were able to share our unique position to other recipients and especially donor families. We’ve been associated with one legacy working both as ambassortors and inspirations to others as we share our testimonial to the powerful effect of organ donation.
TRIO decorating Donor Life - Rose Parade Float 2016