Rick Pfarr knew he beat the odds after his 2002 liver transplant at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Though he never had a serious health problem before, he developed a progressive liver disease that required a liver transplant. Despite having a rare blood type and undergoing a risky procedure, Rick survived and is thriving—but he saw many others struggle.
“In the transplant process, you have to deal with psychological, emotional and financial issues—the whole nine yards,” Rick says. “I was fortunate. I had good insurance, a good job and my family, and the transplant worked. Afterward, I had this big question: Why me? Why did I get so lucky? I realized it was so I could help those who can’t help themselves.”
Rick found his opportunity to give back through the Liver Transplant Patient Care Fund at The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
A hospital social worker told Rick about a family who traveled from out of town so a family member could receive a transplant at Barnes-Jewish. During the trip, the family’s car broke down. With financial support from the Patient Care Fund, the family repaired their car and made it to the appointment.
The fund also provides essential anti-rejection medication, transportation and lodging for liver transplant patients.
“Life is short and you better enjoy it,” Rick says. “Hopefully I can help by giving to the Foundation to benefit others down the line.”