Billy Awady Ullery just got a liver and kidney transplant after waiting more than 570 days on a waiting list. He was near the end of his life when he got the lifesaving call. Billy was put on the transplant list because he needed a liver, but due to changes in allocation fueled by a lack of donor organs, he had to grow much sicker and his kidneys failed. Billy says he feels fortunate to be alive and is dedicating his time to encouraging others to sign up to become organ donors. He says the problem of supply and demand will only grow worse with proposed changes by the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) that calls for even broader sharing of donor organs across the nation. The change will impact women, veterans and tiny people like Billy the most along with rural people with a lack of access to healthcare.
In the video below, Billy talks about having to grow sicker in order to get a chance to survive and how communities can take action now to save more lives. His mother Terra Ullery shares her thoughts about watching her son nearly die and how proposed changes by UNOS could threaten other families. Billy’s surgeon Dr. Sean Kumer, surgical director of transplantation at The University of Kansas Hospital explains just how sick Billy was and how that impacted his surgery.