Though Christina Ferrara began to feel more tired than usual once she hit 30 last year, it was nothing she couldn’t chalk up to the typical signs of aging. Unfortunately, the Tampa, Florida, woman’s situation wound up being far more dire.
Christina had a near-death experience when she suffered complete liver failure. At first, her symptoms weren’t alarming. In an interview with Caters News, she explained that she’d experienced bleeding gums (for which she blamed her toothbrush) and darker urine (which she thought only meant she needed to drink more water), in addition to extreme fatigue that led to her “trying to drink as much coffee as possible.”
“I thought it was just a cruel welcoming to my 30s,” Christina recalled. “I thought the tiredness was due to my age and working over 40 hours a week — trying to maintain my work and social life.”
But soon, Christina’s symptoms rapidly and dangerously progressed. She deteriorated quickly, developing severe jaundice. When she checked into the hospital for testing, doctors realized that her liver was shutting down and causing all of her alarming symptoms.
“I was very jaundiced and suffering high enzyme levels.” she recalled. “When my doctor looked me over, he told me I had to be admitted into the hospital and that I was not going to live until the weekend. All of the extreme symptoms I was told to watch out for had happened within 16 hours. It was the most rapid case doctors had seen. They asked me questions like, where I was and who was the President. I got them all wrong. I even thought it was 1997. All I knew was that I was scared.”
Eventually, doctors put Christina into a medically induced coma once her brain began to shut down. She was at the top of the Florida liver transplant list, and 12 hours later was bumped to the top of the international transplant list, being considered the “sickest woman in America” due to her dire condition.
Thankfully, the fourth liver that became available to Christina ended up being perfect, and after the transplant surgery she made a quick and miraculous recovery. Nowadays, she’s enjoying life and spreading her story in an effort to encourage people to register as organ donors.
“If my donor did not choose to donate their organs I would not be here right now. I needed a specific liver, and the person who registered was my guardian angel,” she said. “You can’t take your organs when you go, so save a life and spread love.”
Check out the video below to hear more about Christina’s journey in her own words.
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