Big Liver, Big Success

Phew. The transplant is complete and was a huge success! He had a massive liver which contributed to how much time it took to get his old liver out of his body. He is all stitched up and they will be bringing him to ICU within the half hour and we will be able to visit him about an hour after that. We are not sure when he will wake up but it will likely be several hours as he tends to hang onto his drugs. Like a good republican. The next 12 hours are critical, the main concerns being the liver not functioning, a bleed, or a clot. They are doing a Doppler ultrasound to check for clots and these are manageable as long as they are identified. Small bleeds are not totally uncommon as his insides were literally ripped up and sewn back together. In the event he has a bleed he will go to the OR right away, but according to the docs this is not a big deal and happens often with little consequence. There is no reason to think the liver is not working or will stop working because it looked great when they closed him up and the actual liver itself was a great liver. The doctors here have turned away lots of perfectly good livers in search of the perfect liver, so this one is definitely a blue ribbon liver.

The surgeons here are amazing. Several surgeons worked on him throughout the night and we have had the chance to talk to a few of them. We had a long talk with the head of liver transplantation as well as one of the surgeons who was there all night. She didn’t even look tired! They have been very reassuring and will be working closely with Dan all week to track his progress and make sure that his liver is doing what it’s supposed to. Ironically the surgeon who will be following up with us this afternoon lives 2 floors above my parents in the city. That poor woman probably doesn’t realize she will be on call when she returns home for the next few weeks but I am sure she will learn to love the concept. Now that’s a good neighbor!

We can’t thank you enough for all the emails, texts and phone calls. They will provide Dan with hours of entertainment when he wakes up. If I know him he is dreaming about his IPhone right now and will have FOX New on tonight. Perhaps he will have NPR on instead, he did lose a lot of blood and I am pretty sure they transfused him with democratic blood but we won’t be sure about that for a while. We are very grateful for your support, thanks from all of us! The docs guess he will be in shape for visitors toward the end of the week. The Dickinson Fam is doing great. Nancy is shooting for the world record for not sleeping but we are taking very good care of her.

Much Love,

Nancy, Annie, and Laurie

17 Responses to “Big Liver, Big Success”

  1. 1 janell
    March 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Oh, I am just ecstatic! Congrats, Dan. Just when you least expect it….just like I told you. Let’s see if you bring March in like a lion or a lamb. I am so happy for all of you. In a couple of weeks, you’ll start to feel much better. Can’t wait to compare stories! Guess this will postpone your trip to Paducah for a while. I may have to come to Chicago. If I could, I’d be there now. Nancy, curl up and rest. The nurses will take care of him.

  2. 2 Dr. Christine Lender
    March 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    My mom was at Northwestern for her Y90 therapy. She was diagnosed with liver cancer back in September. She had Drs. Lewandowski, Baker, Kulik, and Mulcahy. All great doctors. Dan reassured us we were in the right place, as he had some of the same docs. Prayers!

  3. 3 Bonnie Munao
    March 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Dickinson Family,
    I am so happy, I’m laughing. God bless you all for doing this before O’Bama Care kicks in.
    Sounds like a wise choice and a good liver with a great outcome. Get some sleep Nancy, you too, girls. Such a wonderful family,
    Love to all,

  4. 4 Kaya Doyle
    March 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    My prayers are with you for as long as you need them.
    I am relieved, on your behalf, that the waiting is over and the healing can begin.Knowing Dan’s determination and strength of character, he will be setting records of recovery.
    God’s Blessing on all of you –

  5. 5 Jim & Louise
    March 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I know we are as excited as all of you are. THANK YOU GOD!!!!!!!

    And to you two lovely young ladies I do not, nor does Jim, believe for a second anyone would dare tranfuse your dad with blood from a democrat!!!!!! Every inch of him is fully RIGHT (in all senses of that word) I can see inside his head, I’m certain, and he is now watching Neil Cavuto…or making love to Nancy. My money is on the latter.:)”

    Nancy, you are amazing…it is time to sleep for you. You will be in “never stop talking” mode when Dan wakes up. You know sort of like me….I never know when to shut up. But it is probably now. All of you GOD BLESS and don’t forget to THANK GOD for all your blessings….we will too, one of our great blessings are our friends in Chicago!!!!

    Lots of love,
    Jim & Louise

  6. 6 Nancy Hershfield
    March 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Oh, thank god!! Thank you for keeping me in the loop of friends who knows and adores Dan. It means the world to me. I’m so grateful and relieved to hear about this tremendously successful surgery, the blessed liver, and the skillful and caring doctors. Take care of yourselves so you have strength to take care of Dan. No doubt you’ll all be out boating as soon as the iceburgs melt up there!! Love to you all, Nancy Hershfield

  7. March 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    This is the best news ever. My heart goes out to Dan, Laurie, Rob and the whole family. I am very happy everything went well.

    Also, a note to the donor family. God bless you for the wonderful gift you have given to Dan and his family. At times like this, it is such a blessing to know that while you are dealing with so much, you moved in such a loving way for both your loved one and Dan. Thank you so much for this.

    Hey Dan … we’ll catch up once you are all better. Please take “baby steps” at first.



  8. 8 Patty Hacker
    March 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I had no doubt: THE WOODMAN PREVAILS!!! Love from his Log

  9. 9 Kerry Saunders
    March 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Nancy, Annie and Laurie,
    YAY!!! The first hurdle has been cleared, we are so glad to hear this, this family knows only too well the long waits in the wee hours of the night, wanting so badly to go for a breath of fresh air yet not daring just incase someone who has just come from the side of our loved one, has some information to share, and we might miss them. Nancy it takes such an incredibly strong person to stay awake through all this, thank God for the Angels, your daughters are, to be there by your side and share silently in prayer and communications. Congratulations to all of you. It is your strength, faith and most of all love that has and will bring Dan through with “flying” colors. Our prayers and thoughts continue to be with you all, thank you girls ever so much for keeping us all abreast. We will continue to cheer right along with you as each step progresses into a brand new journey.
    All in loving kindness,

  10. 10 John and Linda Foster
    March 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I saw a movie once — the line was Big feet…Big Liver… or something like that. We always knew you had a big heart and a big liver! Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey with all of us, Dan. We love all you guys! John and Linda

  11. March 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Sounds like the surgery was a huge success. Thank you for all the updates, you all are in our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.
    Get some rest Nancy, when he wakes up he is going to start ringing that bell for you to wait on him, ha.
    All our love from Texas,
    Rick and Colleen Pitts

  12. 12 Erin Morley
    March 1, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Dear my Dickinsons,

    So happy to hear everything is going well! Thinking and praying about all of you! Please let me know how I can help. I am ready to bake, babysit, or whatever!!! I’m also good at hugs 🙂


  13. March 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    It’s only fitting that a man with a big heart would have a big liver! Makes total sense to me.

    All of you remain in our prayers and we can take comfort in the fact that we serve an AWESOME and ULTRA-BIG GOD. Dan is certainly a gift and I know he will never take this gift for granted or lightly. He has repeatedly inspired me since I first met Dan in 2005 and I certainly look forward to my next conversation with him.

    God bless you all.

    Much love and admiration from Ohio,

    Gary and Jennifer Frey

  14. 14 Amber Khan
    March 1, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    So happy to hear that Dan is recovering from his surgery. What great news and the perfect way to start the month of March. I am sure Dan will be aching for is Apple products as soon as he is up and at it!

    All my best and well-wishes to the Dickinson family. Here’s to a speedy recovery!

    Amber Khan

  15. 15 Clay Garner
    March 1, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Dan . . . we all love you. We’ve been keeping the whole Vistage gang from 363 (plus emeritus members and a few other Vistage friends) up to date on your progress since mid-morning. Not only are you blessed with a new liver, but your true blessing is your family . . . what a marvelous job they have all done keeping us informed. Yours . . . Clay

  16. 16 Sharon Shea Bossard
    March 1, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Hi Dan: Sounds like you went through this like a trooper. You absolutely are the poster guy for liver transplants. We’re over the moon with the results and send all our love and best wishes for a successful recovery. You’re in such good hands: a team of expertise medical staff, amazing family, and a truckload, no, boatload, of friends who wish you nothing but the best. Soon you’ll be resting at home with all of this behind you……we’re so grateful that it all went off without a hitch. Take best of care, good buddy, and see you soon. And Nancy, so happy to hear you’ve found a couch to crash on….may you sleep the night away. God bless! Love, Sherry & Phil

  17. 17 Betsy
    March 1, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Dan, Nancy, Laurie and Ann and families. You are amazing people. I am so proud to be part of your family. My brother rocks, even if he is a Republican. I’m a Democrat so very forgiving. Get some rest! Love, Betsy (aka Aunt Bop)

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