Patient Story: Small Intestine Recipient (Battalion Chief Paul McNeel)


When they dial 911, they’re
having the worst day in their life. Everything on the fire ground is hectic
in the first two or three minutes. And it’s my job to organize the firefighters,
get the companies in the right place, and bring that destructive force under
control so that we can do what we’re expected to do for the citizens. I’m Paul
McNeel. In May 2009, I had a small intestine transplant at Georgetown
University Hospital. March of 1996, I was having abdominal pain. My wife took me to
the local emergency room, and they had to remove my entire small intestine. And
from that point forward, I started down the road of TPN and did that for thirteen
years until I continuously had infections. And eventually, my GI doc told
me one of these little bugs is going to kill you and we won’t have an antibiotic
to kill it. And I didn’t want to die that way,
and we found Georgetown University. And Georgetown did more transplants. They
were having better success rates than other hospitals in the country. And on
May 9th, I got my transplant. The transplant went very well. Dr. Fishbein
and Dr. Matsumoto were my surgeons. I think they did what very few people in
the country can do, to give me a small intestine and allow me to become a whole
person again. Georgetown University makes it as simple as possible for the patient.
The transplant staff, the doctors, the nurses, everybody is worried about your
well-being and that you’re making the right steps, progressive steps, to become
whole and healthy again. I now live normally. I don’t
have a port in my chest, foreign objects in my body. Now, I have a small intestine.
I get the nutrition from the food I eat, the same as you.
The transplant has given me a new lease on life.

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