Meet LifeLink of Georgia ORGANizer, William Bailey.
William joined the LifeLink ORGANizer volunteer program in January of 2021 after he received a lifesaving liver transplant. A rare genetic disease called Alpha One Antitrypsin Deficiency resulted in William developing NASH (non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver), which eventually led to liver cancer. William’s condition rapidly declined, and his prognosis was so poor that he was initially told he had weeks to live at most.
William had gotten to a point where unless he was going to the doctor or the hospital, he was so ill that he couldn’t leave his home. During William’s illness, his family life was greatly affected. His lovely wife, Dorothy, was in a constant state of concern for him, never knowing what was going to happen next. Other than sitting in his chair at home, William was unable to function. His liver disease affected his ability to make basic decisions and Dorothy worked and carried their entire financial load.
William got a call that he hoped would change his life, but after rushing to the transplant center with the hopes of receiving his transplant William was informed that the available liver would not work for him and was then sent back home. Soon after, William was hospitalized and knew if he were released, he wouldn’t make it back for another transplant call. This was the lowest point for him and his family. Miraculously, while waiting to get discharged to go home, a liver became available for William. He and his family were ecstatic and went from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs knowing that he would receive the gift of life. As he describes it, “it was a miracle from God”.
Since receiving his transplant, William is enjoying life. Limited only by mild COPD, he can pretty much do whatever he wants to do. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Dorothy, children, and grandchildren. Although he is retired, he and his brother operate a small business. Mr. Bailey is also back to leading singing and doing solos at his church. When he isn’t doing all those things, he is telling his story of organ donation through the LifeLink®️ of Georgia volunteer program. William looks forward to every day and feels that he has been given a second chance at life. His goal is to do all that he can to help others while enjoying life.
William’s words for his donor’s family are, “I am truly sorry you had to lose a loved, but I am truly thankful you made the decision to donate your family member’s organs. I would not be here today had you not done that.” Although William has yet to have contact with his donor’s family, he is hopeful that one day, he will be able to tell them thank you in person.