EDITOR’S NOTE: Katelyn Mazur buried her husband Aaron less than two months ago after his body was too weak following a third liver transplant. Aaron Mazur was 37 years old, a father of two and my friend since the 6th grade. Tomorrow, there is a Motorcycle ride in his name to raise awareness about organ donations; the very thing that gave him time to meet his wife and have their two beautiful children.
Written by Katelyn Mazur
Sunday, September 1st, 2013 was the last day my family was whole…complete…healthy. We spent our afternoon at The Hands On Museum in Ann Arbor. Photos from that day are difficult to look at…Aaron helping Bradley manipulate some of the science experiments, helping Emma build blocks & play in the water. After the museum, we went to a burger joint in Ann Arbor for dinner. Taking a 5 year old & a 2 year old out for dinner is usually quite an undertaking. However, this time was different…it was nice. Everyone ate their meal and behaved well.
Monday, September 2nd our lives changed forever…although we didn’t know to what extent yet. Aaron woke up with severe pains in his left side. He immediately thought it was food poisoning from the night before. That night, his parents took him to the emergency room. He was transferred to the University of Michigan hospital, where he had had his previous 2 transplants. After a few hospitalizations & multiple tests they discovered that the connection between the donor hepatic artery & Aaron’s hepatic artery had narrowed & clotted off…cutting off all the blood flow to the bile ducts…causing an infection in his biliary tract. The bile then started to pool onto his liver and caused a massive infection on his liver and ultimately necrosis of the liver.
Immediately, the goal was to slow down or stop this infection from growing or spreading anywhere else in his body. The team hoped to prevent the need for another transplant by knocking this infection out with some heavy duty IV antibiotics and drains in his abdomen. However, it was determined towards the end of October that he would need a third transplant after all.
A third transplant…those words stung. Aaron had already been blessed to receive two liver transplants years before (2/6/99-unknown cause of liver failure & 8/11/00-rejection). It is because of a choice that those two donors and their families made that Aaron & I met, fell in love and brought two beautiful children in to this world. These two people changed the course of not only Aaron’s life, but my life, as well. These two selfless people provided Aaron with the chance to build his life…and he did.
Aaron worked his way to the top of his field in dent repair. He provided such a living that afforded us the ability for me to stay at home and raise our two children. He was an active part of our children’s lives. Aaron was an incredible husband, father, son, bother, and friend. He had a laugh and a smile that would light up a room. He was a great story teller and had a great sense of humor.
Two people saved Aaron’s life already…is it possible for him to be blessed with a third transplant? On the morning of April 17th, 2014, I received a phone call from one of the transplant surgeons at UofM. He told me that they had found a liver for Aaron. Aaron was already hospitalized at this point. So I raced to the hospital as quick as I could so I could see him one last time before he went into surgery. I’ll never forget those 5 minutes that I spent with him before he was wheeled away from me. Little did I know that those 5 minutes would be the last time I would see Aaron awake. Unfortunately, due to some complications following the extensive 13 hour transplant & 2 follow-up surgeries, Aaron passed away on April 27th.
There are few things that give me peace of mind these days. However, one thing that brings me some peace is knowing that the donor of Aaron’s third liver was also able to save other lives and multiple lives just within University Hospital…that’s aMAZing.
Sunday, June 22nd, a bike run is being held in Aaron’s memory. The run starts at Toledo Harley Davidson and finishes at Ralphie’s on Monroe St. in Sylvania, The Life Connection of Ohio will be at Ralphie’s…if you’re not yet a registered organ donor, please consider stopping in and taking the time to register. It could be a decision that saves the life of a father, a mother, a son or a daughter.