Sickest woman in America makes miraculous recovery, Report.
But my life has been amazing since coming back, it has made me re-evaluate the things that are important to me.”
A woman who was in need of a liver transplant, once known as the sickest woman in America, has now been dubbed the Bionic Barbie after making a miraculous recovery.
Christina Ferrara (31) from Tampa, Florida, USA, was told by doctors that she’d “die this weekend” after they discovered her liver was shutting down.
Initially she’d mistaken her liver failure symptoms – such as tiredness, among others – for simply ageing, after hitting her 30th birthday last year. She had thought her bleeding gums was due to her hard toothbrush, that her darker urine was just from dehydration and that her extreme tiredness was due to her age.
She eventually went to see her doctor because her skin started turning yellow and she looked jaundiced. She was rushed to hospital and told she was experiencing liver failure and that she’d die before the end of the weekend.
Following the perilous prognosis Christina experienced drastic health deterioration, which left her unable to recall what year it was or the name of the current US President.
Doctors declared her the “sickest woman in America” – with her being bumped to number one on the US liver transplant list and then the top of list worldwide.
Christina, an assistant manager, said when she first got sick she thought it was just a cruel welcome to her thirties.
“I thought the tiredness was due to my age and working more than 40 hours a week – trying to maintain my work and social life.
“But I was jaundiced and suffering high enzyme levels. When my doctor looked me over he told me I had to be admitted into hospital and that I was going to die before the end of the weekend.
“All of the extreme symptoms I was told to watch out for had happened within 16 hours, it was the most rapid case doctors had seen.”
“They [the doctors] would ask [whether I knew] where I was and who the President is. I got them [the answers] all wrong. I even thought it was 1997. All I knew was that I was scared,” she said.
She was rushed to the intensive care unit when her condition deteriorated. Her ammonia levels were so high that her brain was shutting down. The toxins in her body were high due to her liver leaking.
Christina was placed at the top of the Florida transplant list and 12 hours later took over the top of the world list.
The fourth organ she was offered was a perfect match and fortunately she sprung back to life after he transplant.
“There were three livers that I couldn’t accept – one was too big, one too sick and the other too old – but on the fourth day I had a perfect liver presented to me.
“It was literally a miracle, as soon as I put it in it was like the batteries were back on. The transplant team was amazed at how I popped back to life from the new liver so fast.”
Now the 31-year-old, who has made a near-full recovery, urges others to register on the organ donor list.
“If my donor didn’t choose to donate their organs I wouldn’t be here right now. I needed a specific liver, the person who registered was my guardian angel.
“You can’t take your organs when you go, so save a life and spread love.”
Despite her near life-ending experiences, Christina remains upbeat and determined to make the most out of life.
“I take medication every day to stop my liver from rejecting, I have a high risk of skin cancer, and can’t eat foods like sushi because of the potential bacteria.
“But my life has been amazing since coming back, it has made me re-evaluate the things that are important to me.
“My mom jokes that I always wanted to be number one and for a week, I was.”