Thrive by IU Health

June 10, 2022

Patient who received multi-organ transplant praises care team

IU Health University Hospital

Patient who received multi-organ transplant praises care team

There’s a lengthy healing process after transplant surgery. Behind-the-scenes this patient says she sometimes felt like she was falling apart. But every day she says, “This miracle didn’t look like what I expected, but it’s still a miracle.”

By IU Health Senior Journalist, TJ Banes,

She’s had ups and she’s had downs since the day she received a multi-organ transplant on Nov. 14, 2021. Sarah Granados, 36, is married to Gabriel, and the mother to three children. Her home in Charlotte, N.C. is more than nine hours from Indianapolis. She has made several trips back to Indianapolis where she is in the care of the transplant team at IU Health University Hospital.

For 11 years she has been sick – suffering from, gastroparesis, a disease of the stomach muscles. Essentially, her stomach was unable to grind up food, and empty the food into her intestines. The result was severe vomiting. Her first visit to IU Health was on Oct. 8, 2021.

Granados was listed for transplant 444 days before undergoing an hours-long surgery to replace her stomach, pancreas, small and large intestines.

She has journaled her treatment and recovery in a private Facebook Group, “Saving Sarah G.“ with more than 14,000 followers. Her setbacks have landed her back in the hospital multiple times. She’s suffered, fevers, chills, rashes, infections and other side effects of transplant.

This wife, mother, daughter, sister, has relied on long-distance communication with family members, juggled transportation glitches, been isolated due to COVID, lived in temporary housing, and maintained a homemade jewelry business. And she writes:

“Suffering is never a meaningless waste of your life; it’s a meaningful way through it. Sometimes the most painful chapters of our lives are the most meaningful. Suffering doesn’t have to destroy our ultimate life purpose, but can ultimately help us achieve our purpose in life. Suffering begs surrender, so we can win a greater wisdom, a deeper strength and a stronger faith. Suffering can be a gift because it calls for us to be present and mindful. Where there is suffering, there is God. And where there is God, there is healing.

She signs her journal entries, “Healing or Heaven.” Her followers share their admiration for her faith, determination, and inspiration. And countless posts show a photo of Granados smiling.

During a May 21st visit to IU Health, Granados posted a photo with her IU Health transplant surgeon Dr. Richard Mangus and her former transplant coordinator Allison Brown.

She wrote: “Yesterday was my last day with my coordinator. She has been my angel in my life . . . and I love my surgeon more every time I am with him. The fact that I got a second photo with him is miraculous.” She added that Dr. Mangus left right after the picture to perform another transplant surgery.

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