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Patient feeling relieved and stronger after multiple organ transplant

IU Health University Hospital

Patient feeling relieved and stronger after multiple organ transplant

Scott Williams’ journey to transplant began in 2015 with abdominal pain. Now he’s on the road to recovery.

By TJ Banes, Senior Journalist, IU Health,

His health issues began eight years ago. Abdominal pain landed Scott Williams in the ER at IU Health North.

Clots were discovered in the vessel that carries blood from his abdomen to other organs. Several tests followed but no cause was determined for the clotting. Williams was put on blood thinners and life went on. A native of Louisville, Williams attended the University of Louisville where he ran track and cross country. He went on to become a CPA and eventually followed his career to Indianapolis. Four years ago he married Amber Williams. Together they have five children.

In August of 2021 Williams suffered a hemorrhagic stroke brought on by the blood thinners, said his wife. “Residual effects of the stroke were minimal and short-lived. At that time, Scott’s doctors decided that the risk from the blood thinners was greater than the risk from the blood clots and took him off the blood thinners.”

But four months later, in December 2021, Williams felt that familiar abdominal pain. He was visiting family in Nashville, TN. and landed in a local ER. “The local emergency room was not equipped to deal with his extreme circumstances and immediately drove Scott to Vanderbilt University Medical Center via ambulance. He spent three weeks at Vanderbilt while doctors puzzled over his condition,” said Amber Williams.

The clotting had returned and veins throughout his abdomen were severely dilated. His bile duct was restricted due to the clotting. Doctors put stents in his veins and bile duct to help throughout his abdomen, and his bile duct was being squeezed off by the collateral circulatory vessels that had grown to help circumvent blockages.

“The next 18 months consisted of a series of surgeries to extend or clean out existing stents as they re-clotted and install additional stents,” said Amber.

A man who was once a track and field runner, and an active father was now suffering from serious health issues. And answers were still not within his reach.

“I would say my worst day was in August of 2022 when I tested positive for COVID. It turned into a three-week ordeal with chills and high fever,” said Scott. After surgery to repair leaking stents and an infection, he spent more than two weeks hospitalized. Afterward, he moved his care to IU Health University Hospital and in early 2023 his team of doctors determined Scott would need a multivisceral transplant. He was listed for 10 days and in June, Scott underwent transplant surgery for a new liver, pancreas and portion of his small intestine connecting vessels. He was in the care of Dr. Richard Mangus and remained hospitalized for 10 weeks.

According to Donate Life, there are more than 100,000 people awaiting lifesaving organs. Last year there were nearly 21,300 donors who provided the gift of life to recipients; and one million transplants throughout the US marking a historical milestone.

Scott Williams walking his dog

As he continues with regular clinical visits, Scott said he’s feeling a lot better. “The nurses in ICU and throughout the transplant unit have been very supportive and caring. They are truly rooting for you,” said Scott. “Whenever I was scared or wasn’t feeling that great they’d say, ‘we’ve got you.’”

With his eye on full recovery, Scott hopes to get back to walking with his wife and dogs, reading history novels, attending his kids’ activities and hopefully getting out and see some concerts.

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