My name is Donna and in 1989
while giving birth to my twin sons by c-section i had complications and required
a blood transfusion. That's how the docs think i got the virus due to the high
viral load, didn't look like tattoo or needle stick or etc......anyway I was
diagnosed with cervical and uterine cancer in 1994 and during the pre-surgical
testing they discovered I had hepatitis C.
I lived through the cancer, but
come 1999 upper quadrant pain and fatigue came along. I had testing and liver
biopsy, and my liver was pretty eaten up. When I found out through Johns
Hopkins Hospital that a living donor was possible, my sister stepped up and
tested compatible to be a donor all the way until 2 days before surgery. They
had taken another look at her cat scan and noticed that right where they would
have to separate her liver there was an artery and the surgery would be too
risky. This was a hard blow as I was getting considerably more ill, but nothing
was worth risking my sister's life.
One of my twin son's had a
husband and wife mentor team (big brother and big sister) the husband Steve
McCann decided he wanted to be the donor for me. I couldn't believe the brave
act he was prepared to do for me especially considering that he and his wife had
a 17 month old boy, their first child. Steve went through all the neccessary
testing and on 12/10/01 we had a successful 21 hour surgery. It has been 6 1/2
months and I am doing quite well and so is he.
Now we are doing fundraising due
to the fact that my work 3 months prior to the transplant called me into the
office and told me I was suspended without pay and told to leave the office
because they felt I was contagious and the other employees felt threatened. I
had been the medical billing supervisor for 5 years, and was a very faithful
hardworking employee despite the hepatitis C. It was a pain management
practice, so the doctor I worked for was also a treating physician of mine
(supposedly) I had a lot of pain from my spleen and he could have done a
procedure to block the pain but instead he treated me with narcotics, which
eventually lead to a high tolerance and addiction.
The doctor I worked for had used
my confidential information against me and my chart became public knowledge for
all of the staff to see. They knew I needed a transplant but I never told them
why. Apparently they must have helped themselves to my chart. I could not
believe that a medical office was throwing me out because of hepatitis C, as we
had many patients with hep C as well as HIV.
Anyway I now have an attorney
and have filed a complaint with the Department of Labor, but the staff and
management from my former employer is lying. They're saying they've seen me
bleed and I was a threat to them. I have been so degraded and so back stabbed
that I am devastated. I've written to the press, because I want this story
told. I want people to know what happened to me so that no other employer ever
does this to another employee again, but I just can't get the story out. I see
some pretty unimportant issues that get attention on TV and the newspaper but
few like this one. I need to let the public know that employers can not do this.
This is not acceptable and the public also needs to know exactly how the virus
is transmitted so that no one else has to go through what I went through.
The opinions expressed on
this page are solely those of the author and none of the information included is to be
misconstrued as medical advise.
issues concerning this website should be addressed to:
Be sure to
include the words "HEP C" in the subject line of your
correspondence. Otherwise, it may be deleted unopened
due to the extreme problem with spam.
© 1997-2012 National Hepatitis C Coalition, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
March 20, 2012