Real Life Stories

Lou Torres

Reading, PA native now residing in Puerto Rico

Retired police detective

Liver recipient

A Different Person
I spent six-and-a-half months on the organ transplant waiting list.

During that time, I went from being a resourceful, kind of cocky, stereotypical police officer, very sure of himself, to a fraction of the man I was. I was totally dependent on my girlfriend (who’s now my wife) for everything — personal hygiene, meals, even making decisions. It was bleak. I was putting my affairs in order. But then we got the call. There was a liver, a match.

Had it not been for this donated liver, I wouldn’t be here today. That’s how it is for most people on that waiting list—a transplant is the only cure.

A Better Person
Every morning I wake up smiling and, hopefully, when the day’s over, I have done something to earn my gift. I’m a different person than I used to be, I believe a better person. These days, I think before I speak, and I’m much happier, always cracking a joke — that’s not the guy I used to be. My wife always kids me, saying “I swear they gave you a tongue with your liver, because you haven’t shut up since!”

Hopefully, when the day’s over, I have done something to earn my gift.

Since the transplant, I’ve married my sweetheart of many years—my best friend. And I’ve been watching my son mature into a wonderful human being who teaches kids with special needs. You can’t put value on those things. I can’t even articulate how much they mean to me.

There’s one thing that I share with just about everyone I come in contact with: there is no reason not to be a registered organ donor. You should not deny yourself that opportunity to save the life of others. It’s the greatest gift you can give.

 

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