TJ Needs Your Help
Family and friends of TJ Miller are raising money to pay for uninsured medical expenses associated with his liver transplant.
July 17, 2019
Happy Liverversary to TJ and Rachel!
1 year ago today we woke up nervous and hopeful for what was in store, and we went to bed that night with a successful surgery behind us, Rachel with a little less liver, and TJ’s new liver already producing bile and getting to work! It has not been an easy recovery process, but we knew that going in. We were told that it would be at least a year recovery. We have had many wonderful beautiful moments this past year. I am especially in awe of the generosity of others and the power of a loving community. My favorite lesson from all of TJ’s struggles with chronic illnesses and even the roller coaster ride that this recovery has been, is that we have become pros at enjoying the little moments of joy that exist within every day. From getting a hug from one of our kids, to laughing at a silly joke, to just sitting on our patio watching the sunset. We all strive for happiness in our lives, and sometimes it takes an event like this to remind us that it isn’t some huge amazing thing that makes us happy, it’s the day to day. It’s the things we don’t even notice or miss until you are faced with mortality of yourself or a loved one.
Rachel is still doing very well. She has no lasting effects from the surgery, and recently had her 1 year follow up appointment in Salt Lake City and was released from the surgical team’s care!
I think the unpredictability of TJ’s recovery is what has been the hardest. The month of May TJ was feeling the best he has in a long time, we started going for bike rides, he was doing projects around the house and suggesting getting a gym membership. The main remaining issue from TJ’s transplant is one stricture where 2 bile ducts were stitched together. The scar tissue in that spot created a narrowing that caused bile to not be able to flow freely which in turn elevates TJ’s liver function and makes him feel nauseous, tired, and in pain. Since January TJ has had six ERCP procedures. An ERCP is a endoscopic procedure in which a scope is passed through the mouth and digestive tract into the bile ducts. TJ has had multiple stents of varying size and material placed into that stricture in an attempt to stretch it open while keeping the bile flowing through. The stents do a very good job of stretching the scar tissue open, but the inorganic material of the stent is prone to bacteria sticking to it. TJ has had a couple pretty major infections due to the stents. One did turn septic in the beginning of February, the second infection on Memorial Day weekend was caught just in time before it turned septic. Right now TJ is stent free for the first time this year! It is exciting, but this is definitely a trial period. There is a very good chance TJ will be getting another stent in the near future.
I am so grateful for TJ’s team of doctors at the University of Utah, for Rachel and her family and community that has adopted us, for our kids that have endured all the ups and downs right along side of us, for TJ’s mom who spent 6 weeks in Salt Lake City with TJ while I had to go back to work, and both of our families. We absolutely could not have done it without each and every one of you. We are so excited to see what the next year will bring!
October 23, 2018
It’s been just over 3 months since TJ’s transplant, and what a ride it has been! I’ve been updating Facebook on TJ’s (and Rachel’s) healing progress, and I’ve failed to post an update here since 3 days post op!
Rachel had her 3 month post op check up last week, and she is doing wonderfully. She said it doesn’t feel like she’s had surgery at all. Somehow she feels a little guilty for that because of TJ’s long healing process. But that is our biggest hope for her, no lasting effects from the surgery.
TJ is doing pretty well. A few hiccups here and there as his body adjusts to all the new liver and new medications. That is not unexpected by his transplant team, as they have told us many times that their job is to manage complications as they arise. We continue to practice our patience and trust in the process as it unfolds.
We are so grateful for all the amazing support we have received throughout this journey. All of this was made possible by the community surrounding us.
Lots of love,
Photo Galleries (1)
August 9, 2018
from Sonja and Pat Holbrook, toward TJ's health and the quilt raffle.
July 31, 2018
YOU ARE ALL AWESOME!!!
July 30, 2018
This is from Pat and Sonja Holbrook. They also want to be entered in the quilt raffle. Their contact info is 69 W Rhea Rd, Tempe, AZ 85284
July 28, 2018
What a blessing to hear about your sweet story. Our prayers for you both. We met Rachel over 20 years ago on our daughter's move in day at college.
Linda and Rusty Craft