AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – An Austintown man was told to go to the emergency room last year. Doctors said his liver was so fatty from alcoholism that he needed immediate attention. Today, we talked with Rob G. — who doesn’t want his last name to be used — about surviving, the transplant and his message for others.
Rob is lucky to be alive. He was just hours from death last year when his doctor gave him a wake-up call.
“I mean, when they said you’re going to need a liver transplant, it sounded like it came from above and it echoed off every wall,” he said.
Rob got a call about a new liver 12 hours after being placed on the list in July of last year.
Rob says he was a professional drinker, that he partied heavily for years and didn’t even stop before his transplant.
“No, I drank up until the last possible minute. As bad as that sounds, I absolutely did,” he said.
But Rob stopped drinking cold turkey after the surgery.
He says everyone knows alcoholism is serious, and some will get to where medically they don’t have a choice. Rob wants them to know what it’s like before, during and after a liver transplant.
“It took me six months to get to the point where I could actually stand up and paint,” he said.
It has become his therapy, doing something productive instead of feeling bad for himself.
Rob keeps himself busy around the pool and looks forward to returning to work.
Rob says the hurt is done, now it’s time to be positive.
“You know, it’s what right before you have to go there and then after you’ve went there, hopefully successfully, and our life, that’s the hardest part,” he said.
Rob plans to write a book with the subtitle “Dying is Easy. Living is the Hard Part.”