Louise Taylor with Matt Klunder, Commandant of Midshipmen at the USNA.
In August 1991, I had a simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplant (SPK) at UMMC. At the time, my operation made the news because it was only the fourth one that had been done at the Medical Center. There was a lot of publicity on local television shows and newspapers. The transplant saved my life, and afterwards, I felt like a new person.
Prior to the transplant, I suffered from numerous health problems -- I had been diabetic since the age of 7, and I had to deal with 20 years of complications from that. I was on dialysis prior to the transplant.
In 1991, I had already seen several doctors at the Medical Center. My cousin who worked at the Medical Center introduced me to Deb Evans, a transplant coordinator who put me in touch with Dr. Stephen Bartlett, a surgeon who specialized in kidney-pancreas transplants.
In 1999, eight years after the SPK transplant, I lost the pancreas, and in the winter of 1999, I went to the transplant office and got on the waiting list. In March 2000, I received another pancreas transplant. However, a year after that, in 2001, my kidney function went down. My boyfriend donated a kidney to me in March 2002.
By October 2005, I had lost the second transplanted pancreas and needed another one. My endocrinologist, Dr. Thomas Donner, contacted Dr. Bartlett and asked him to meet with me. Dr. Bartlett approved another pancreas transplant and told me I could go back on the list. On October 22, 2009, Dr. Bartlett called to say they had a pancreas for me and I went in the next morning to have the transplant. It was a successful operation, and I feel great. It’s made a big difference; I feel so much better. Now I know how a normal person feels.
The transplant changed my life. I have more energy, I’m not on dialysis anymore, and I’m not missing work. If I hadn’t had the transplants, I wouldn’t be here now. Dr. Bartlett saved my life; without him I wouldn’t be here today. He’s an amazing doctor and a wonderful surgeon. I’ve known him for almost 20 years. All the doctors and surgeons at the Medical Center are great, and the transplant program is a wonderful program. I wouldn’t think of going anywhere else.