PATIENTS

PATIENT STORIES

 
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Daria

2021 October

Daria  stuggled with her diabetes after her pancreas was surgically removed. to treat her chronic pain.

 

However, after islet transplantation from deceased donor.s, Daria became free of diabetes and insulin again.  

 

Congratulations Daria!

Daria suffered from chronic pancreatitis and strong abdominal pain, which frequently recurred throughout her entire  childhood and adolescence. Finally, her pancreas had to be surgically removed, which freed her from the pain but the price was  of that was high. She became diabetic (type 3) and struggled with her blood glucose control for over next 4 years. She lived with HgA1c of 15, frequently being sick and in the hospital.  

Now, after her islet transplantation she is not only pain free but also free of diabetes.  She can enjoy her new life and take care of her daughter Maja, who was inspiration for Daria's resilience and recovery. 

Daria: "I am so grateful and thankful for Dr. Witkowski and his team. Ever since I was 8, I was struggling with pancreatic pain, having stones, staying in the hospital etc. I had to have a whole pancreas removed, because I had a genetic mutation called PRSS1. This led me to be a diabetic at the age of 20. I had no idea what being a diabetic even was. My sugars were always high because I was scared of having lows and passing out. My body and mind was causing me this fear. After 4 years my A1C was 18… (average sugar 500) I lost a lot of weight even though I ate so much all the time. Two months ago Dr. Witkowski and his team did an islet transplant taking match me islets from DONOR’S pancreas. He injected those islets into my liver, no anesthesia needed. After that I was still taking some insulin because we needed the islets to calm down, relax and find their place in the liver. After 4 weeks, I was completely off of insulin. It was a miracle to me and I finally STOPPED suffering. 

 

I got my life back, to play with my beautiful 5-year-old daughter. It takes time to adjust of course but not having to check my sugars, my pump, my continuous glucose monitor was a relief, they were finally off my body. I’ve never felt so free. I could take care of myself and for my daughter because my daughter needs and will need me and I can provide that for her now. No more pain no more hurting no more hospitals and staying there for over a month at a time. I’m blessed by Dr. Witkowski that he didn’t give up on me, same as Lindsay, she was so helpful and I respect her so much, and Laurencia for always encouraging me. I couldn’t be happier!!I weighed around 90 pounds, now I am 135, healthy and proud. I over came my fear. Dr. Witkowski is the BEST at what he does and he and his team make sure patients are always up to date with everything together, so we all know what is going on regarding decisions for my care. 

Thank you to all my family members helping me so I wouldn’t give up. I really appreciate it, from the bottom of my heart. 

 

The FDA should adjust the regulations to allow islet transplantation to be available all Americans still suffering and desperately needing them. It gives people like me another chance at life. This is not a drug, if someone signs up to be a donor, and life saving gift is being used for islet transplant. Do you consider a heart transplant a drug? I trust Dr. Witkowski and other experts in islets transplantation and their voice should not continue to be ignored by the FDA.  

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Daria and Maja 

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Nov 2018. 

Daria was new to her diabetes and visited Shannon to learn how to handle her insulin and keep blood glucose under control. Shannon already received islet and then pancreas transplant and has been off insulin and non diabetic again for the last 3 years!. 

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Nov 2021 

Daria is insulin free too, insulin independent!!!