Arkansas man owes life to mystery organ donor

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - "I was nervous, scared, apprehensive," all feelings Donovan Tucker says he experienced towards the end of 2013 upon receiving his diagnosis of liver disease and liver cirrhosis.

Dr. Frederick Bentley said, "There's medical therapy that kind of mitigates some of the symptoms and things like that but there is no other substitute therapy." Without a liver transplant people ultimately die from the illness. Fortunately for Tucker, he was only on the transplant list for about four months, before finally getting the call.

"I know that I'm very fortunate," Tucker explained. He said he has not been able to tell his story without being overwhelmed by emotion, but as UAMS Dr. Frederick Bentley explains, it is easy to understand why. Dr. Bentley said, "To see someone who is very ill and sometimes on death's doorstep, it was truly amazing."

Just days after being released from the hospital, Tucker could not get the unknown donor off his mind. Tucker explained, "For me, to receive his liver so that I may continue to live, ya know, it weighs on you. I felt unworthy to receive it." But he knew he wanted to do something to show his gratitude and pay it forward. He continues, "I wrote the lyrics to the song and they just flowed. It was like somebody was helping me."

Now, Tucker has a new appreciation for life and says he owes a large part of it to the doctors at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. As for the donor's family, there's only one thing he says he could say to them, "There's no one word I could say to them but thank you and God bless you."

Click here for Tucker's website.


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