April 26, 2016 marked the three year anniversary of my double organ transplant. Every year that I have been given thanks to this miracle is a blessing. However, I was especially excited about this particular anniversary because it marks three consecutive years without being hospitalized. This may not be a big deal to most people, but in the world of double organ transplants - it is a very rare thing.
We celebrated the actual anniversary with dinner, but we also chose to celebrate this anniversary by going to Disney World in March. The last time Carl and I were able to go to Disney World together was for our honeymoon when I needed the assistance of a wheelchair. This was a wonderful trip filled with special moments. Not only was I able to walk the parks without assistance and keep pace with Carl, but (with my doctor’s permission) was able to ride my first thrill rides post-transplant. The most surprising moment came when we ran into a waiter who had waited on us during our honeymoon. It made my day when he commented on how healthy I looked now.
Finally, I wish to thank everyone who helped make this miraculous day happen – my loving husband, supportive family and friends, amazing medical teams (before, during, and after transplant), and the incredibly kind family of my donor.
Aug 19, 2014
Megan's One Year Transplant Update
April 26th is a very special day for me. Today marks the one year anniversary of my life-saving, double organ transplant. When I look at my life now, it’s hard to remember just how dramatically things have changed in twelve short months. Just before the transplant, I was undergoing dialysis several times a week and as much as I tried to pretend it wasn’t – dialysis was taking a devastating toll on me both emotionally and physically. My health was failing – and failing fast. But then, an amazing thing happened in my life - a family, in all of their grief, made the extraordinary decision of organ donation and I received a second chance at life. On this day, Carl and I would like to thank all of you who have supported us on this miraculous journey. From our family members, who were our rocks, to our friends who were always there for us (whether lending a helping hand, posting a “Moustaches for Megan” pic, donating to my medical fund, or just making us laugh when we needed it). We would also like to thank both of my amazing medical transplant teams – the team at MUSC in Charleston who performed my surgery (shout out to Dr. Charles Bratton- whose surgical skill has been marveled at by all of my Doctors in Virginia) and the team at VCU in Richmond who took over my care three months after the transplant. In fact, thanks to these medical teams – I am proud to announce that both organs are functioning beautifully… and though, I’ve had my share of ups and downs – I’ve managed to make it through my first year without any episodes of rejection or having to be readmitted to the hospital. This may seem like a small thing to some people, but for a transplant patient (especially double transplant patients) this is a VERY, VERY RARE occurrence. Not only did this transplant allow me the chance to regain my health, but it also allowed us a chance at a bright new future full of promise and possibilities. For example, it allowed Carl to get back into football (a career I know he loves). Luckily, we found a great team (Go Spiders!) with an amazing staff – and an even more amazing “Spider Family”. Thank you to all of the fellow coaches’ wives who helped me survive my first season as a “football widow”. As for me, I seemed to have found a job that suits me well. I am now working as a travel agent who specializes in Disney (although I do other destinations too). I have to admit that planning “princess” and “pirate” themed vacations and seeing pictures of clients with Mickey and Minnie is kind of my dream job. As for the future, my goal is to try make the most out of the second chance I have been given. I hope to live a life that my donor would be proud of and to make the most out of every moment. Once again, thank you to everyone who has helped me to reach this milestone in my life. Without all of you and the grace of God, this day certainly would not have been possible.
Thank you, Megan Haynes Kotz
Dec 13, 2013
On April 26, 2013 , Megan received a simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplant at MUSC in Charleston, SC. Megan is doing well and continues to recover in the couple's new home in Richmond, Virginia.