Marianne is 30 and a beautiful spirit. She has almost no stomach, definitely no duodenum or any small intestines. She weighs just over 40 kilos. Her whole adult life has been spent carrying around a Stoma bag and having a Hickman line for food and medications to go straight to the bloodstream . Her digestive system has never worked properly, even as a baby. Yet she has tenacity and a great will to live that has seen her overcome constant pain, countless blood infections, near death experiences, and a life either at hospital or with her mum daily picking up IV supplies. This beautiful girl is featured in the age as being Australia and the Austin Hospital’s first potential 6 organ transplant. Her pancreas and liver are also irreparably damaged. Several years ago I became good friends with Marianne and her single mum Lorraine when they first came to Melbourne to start this battle for a transplant. I’ve seen how tough it’s been to live. I’ve seen Marianne vomit litres of blood and often writhe in terrible pain. I’ve wondered if she would make it a dozen or more times. But it’s crunch time now, and her amazing surgeon Prof Bob Jones and the wonderful team at the Austin Hospital are waiting for a suitable donor and hoping it’s soon so they can perform their miracle. Marianne and her mum Lorraine have survived on the kindness of others, Centrelink benefits, and occasionally taken a few international student boarders. Finances are getting visibly tougher. Amongst other things, Marianne’s car is almost dead but she can’t afford to fix it. She also dreams of a life post- transplant where she can finally live like an adult and study something like interior design. Surviving week to week doesn’t allow for luxuries or dreams. This go-fund-me is for Marianne, and her wonderfully supportive but exhausted mum Lorraine. It will make an enormous difference to their lives. If you are reading this perhaps you can share it with your friends or just send an email to a potential kind corporate sponsor or friend. Your donations and kind words, no matter the size, will all lift their spirits.
Marianne was born into the Exclusive Brethren in Queensland and her family fled the ultra-secretive religious sect which has been marred by controversy in recent years when she was a young child.
Their decision to cut ties with the sect, and leave with only the clothes on their backs, has meant her mother, Lorraine, who is her fulltime carer, often struggles to pay for the medical bills and care Marianne requires.
Of the dozens of Victorians who die in each week, few are suitable donors for Marianne.
“In 12 months in Victoria there would likely be about three suitable donors,” Austin Hospital liver transplant unit director, renowned transplant surgeon Professor Bob Jones, said.
end quote (my bold)