In the story ‘Successful day for Rhoda Williams’ published in the Lakes District News’ June 17 issue, mother of four Rhoda Williams had received a new liver while her family was doing a fundraiser in Burns Lake.
Williams spent over two months recovering at the Vancouver General Hospital after receiving her new liver on June 7, 2015.
The mother from Lake Babine Nation has finally been able to return to her home in Prince George. But the wave of nice surprises didn’t end there.
While Williams and her husband Darren McKay were in Vancouver, they missed the birth of their first granddaughter. As soon as they returned home, they were able to meet two-month-old Angelina for the first time.
“Tears of joy for grandma,” said McKay, describing their first encounter.
McKay said the last few months can only be described as a “roller coaster of emotions.”
“I’m glad she’s home,” he said proudly. “I got my wife back, and that’s what I love.”
Last May, Williams heard from her doctors that she had less than two weeks to live. She had been diagnosed with primary biliary cirrhosis, a kind of cirrhosis caused by damage to the bile ducts in the liver.
“I couldn’t explain the feeling; I was so weak, tired and ill,” said Williams.
Her four children had faced seeing their mother in and out of hospitals since March 2015. Her husband said that, prior to surgery, Williams wasn’t worried about how tired or scared she was; instead she was worried about her children and him.
“We all got a second a chance with her, and she’s got a second chance with her kids,” said McKay. “It wasn’t her time to go.”
Soon after her surgery, Williams noticed her skin tone improving almost immediately.
“My colour started changing half an hour after the surgery,” she said. “I thought ‘now I’m not yellow anymore.’”
Williams said now she has much more energy for everything. In fact, she even tried cleaning up the house as soon as she returned home. The proud mother said she now wants to spend more time with her kids and granddaughter, and that she also has plans of going back to college to study computer graphic design.
After going through this life-changing experience, she said there is one thing she knows for sure.
“I learned how not to take anything for granted, and to be happy more,” she said with her voice noticeably giving away a new sense of aliveness and relief.
Williams said she is thankful for everything that the community has done to support her and her family while she was in the hospital.
“Everybody was so thoughtful; people would call me in Vancouver and say that they were praying for us.”
Williams still has to attend monthly doctor appointments in Vancouver for the next few months. Since the family spent all their funds battling the disease and paying for their stay in Vancouver, the family is currently fundraising.
Williams’s next appointment is scheduled for Sept. 24, 2015, in Vancouver. If anyone would like to donate, an e-transfer can be made to email@example.com or people can donate at www.gofundme.com/z7pf2t8