Frank Greaney is happy to be alive, and he credits his survival to his organ transplant. In 1997, Frank Greaney was diagnosed with an autoimmune liver disease, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC). PSC is a progressive liver disease for which there is no cure. He was soon listed for a liver transplant in the New England region. He spent some eleven years on that list because of a shortage of donor livers. He was removed from the list at one point so he could deal with another condition, prostate cancer. Once that was cured through radiation therapy, he was re-listed.
In 2010, Frank’s condition worsened and he double-listed at a distant medical center. He was evaluated there and was advised that he could be transplanted in 37 days. He and his wife drove to that city to wait. After a 13-year wait, he was anxious, eager, hopeful and optimistic.
On the evening of their arrival, their dinner was interrupted by a call from the transplant center – a deceased donor liver was available. Frank and his wife, Nancy, abandoned their dinner and headed for the hospital. He was in surgery by midnight and was discharged from the transplant hospital in five days.
Frank feels he was blessed and lucky. The transplant had removed a serious, life-threatening threat to his life. He knows that many people die while waiting for an organ. In fact, 22 people die on wait lists every day. While Frank was on a wait list for some time, he recognizes his good fortune in getting a second chance at life.
Today, Frank is in excellent health. At 73, he is still active with family, work, patient advocacy, church, travel, and friends.
Frank is able to continue his work as an executive search consultant specializing in the recruitment of organ transplant surgeons and physicians.
Frank was relatively symptom-free while he waited for his liver and his recovery has been good. Greaney recognizes that many people suffer greatly while waiting for a transplant and their recovery is often slow and incomplete. At the same time, he recognizes that organ transplant does return hundreds of people to good health with good life expectancy. In his words, “transplant works!”
That’s one of the reasons why patient advocacy is so important to him. He serves as Chair of the University of Connecticut Health Center’s Patient Family Advisory Council and is a member of the Connecticut Hospital Association’s Patient Family Advisory Council, both organizations that work to provide a voice of the patient to hospital leadership in Connecticut.
Frank advocates for organ donation, live organ donation, and supports patients awaiting transplants. We consider him a true Power Player, as he continues to advocate for transplant patients and their families.
Are you interested in sharing your story? We’d love to hear from you! Contact sobrien@myAST.org for more information.
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