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Pulaski Co. woman in the right place, right time for life-saving transplant

SOMERSET, Ky. (WKYT) - Mary Jo Perkins came down with a dose of what she thought was the flu that just wouldn’t go away.

“It went on for a whole month,” she said.

Doctors kept telling her the same thing.

“They just said you’re fine. You’re O.K.”

But she knew she wasn’t. It finally got so bad her family knew she needed help.

“But that morning it was different. Just felt weird. Was already orange as a pumpkin.”

A trip to UK hospital, then the bombshell. Not only was her liver in terrible shape, she needed a transplant. However, being put on a donor list usually means a wait lasting weeks, months, or even years.

“I don’t think they really expected me to get a liver, really,” Perkins said.

Her wait though was only measured in hours.

“I remember them saying we got it. We are going to surgery,” she said.

Doctors told Perkins that she had a better chance of winning the lottery than getting a liver transplant that fast. But had she not received it, her life could have easily been over.

“You think about that. Your time is up.”

A month after the life-saving surgery, she still has a few side effects, but she has her life, and a renewed purpose and vision for it.

“I can raise my daughter for one thing. She’s 14 years old. Would hate to miss out on her,” she said.

Perkins says she believes all things happen for a reason, and thinks hers could be to tell others about the life-saving importance of organ donation.


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