Honouring Her Champions
Bonnie Lewis' Champions of Care are all the people who saved her life


I was always the teacher who didn't get sick. I would have perfect attendance,” said Bonnie Lewis, a junior high teacher. “Other teachers would be dropping like flies with the flu and cold and kids would be sick and I'd still be healthy.”

And suddenly, much like anyone might, Bonnie Lewis began to feel nauseous.  A half week later, she still wasn’t feeling well – the upset stomach was still there. One of her students waved her over and told her that her eyes were yellowing. Jaundicing, Bonnie Lewis went to see her family doctor whose tests revealed that her liver enzyme levels were skyrocketing. Bonnie Lewis had acute hepatitis - an auto-immune hepatitis of unknown origin.

Although minor symptoms were there, the correlation between how she appeared – slight jaundice, yet alert and coherent - and how serious the internal liver diagnosis – acute hepatitis with blood levels that showed she should be really sick.

After Bonnie began to lose some of her abilities, she met with a hepatalogist. It was decided that Bonnie required a liver transplant. “Doctors had done everything they could for her,” said her husband Alan.

Immediately alarmed by the idea, Bonnie Lewis and her husband were comforted by their care team. The doctors warm words. The busy nurses taking time to make sure they were secure in that moment.

Bonnie was on life support for three days before her transplant liver arrived. With just hours left, it arrived. With absolute calm and professionalism, the staff did what they needed to do in order to successfully transplant the liver and save Bonnie’s life.

“Our champions are all the people who helped save Bonnie’s life,” added Alan.

Without the liver transplant team, and the miracle work of the intensive care unit, and occupational therapy and physiothereapy, I wouldn't be here today,” said she said. “I’ve gone from being within hours of dying to training for the Canadian Transplant Olympics.”

For more information or to honour your own Champion of Care, click here.

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