Woman finds life-saving organ donor through Facebook

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Now full of life, Tekisha Eubanks loves to go outside and enjoy the outdoors. In November 2018, though, her life in Chapmanville, West Virginia, was completely different.

Friends and family of Tekisha Eubanks took to Facebook after finding out she had 48 to 72 hours to find a liver.

"I went for so long and tried to work and tried to just have an everyday normal life," she said. "One day I had this feeling that something wasn't right and I was not going to come out of this on my own."

Eubanks went to a local hospital to find out why she wasn't feeling good. She was sent to a hospital in Pittsburgh, and one week later she got her diagnosis. Eubanks had a fatty liver disease and an underlying liver diseases that had gone undetected since childhood.

Her condition was getting worse in Pittsburgh. Within just a few days, Eubanks lost all consciousness.

"They took me straight to intensive care, hooked me up to my ventilator, started dialysis. Then, they reevaluated the situation and I had 48 to 72 hours to find a liver," she said.

Eubanks said her family was in shock as she was placed on a transplant list. Her husband and best friend got to work with hopes of finding a living donor.

Eubanks's best friend, Ashley, took to social media. She made a Facebook post updating people on Eubanks's condition and begging for a donor.

"This is serious and if you're Type O blood and are willing to be a donor please grab your bags and head to Pittsburgh. Please share this," the post read.

"Randomly one of my girlfriends showed me a Facebook post. It was about Tekisha needing a liver transplant within 48 hours. They still had yet to find a match for her," donor Ali Thomas said. "I noticed we had the same blood type."

Ali Thomas is from Charleston. She did not know Eubanks, her best friend Ashley or anyone in her family, but once she saw that Facebook post, Ali went online to register as Eubanks's donor.

"I was already registered to be a universal donor. I never really thought it would ever happen," Thomas said.

Later that day, she got the call from the hospital. Eubanks's other matches did not work, and Thomas was needed. Without hesitation, she drove four hours to Pittsburgh alone.

"I had no idea how the process worked. I had no idea. I didn't know anything about organ donation or transplants or anything," she said. "I spoke with a counselor and my coordinator the entire way up there."

"With one Facebook post and one mutual friend, my donor was found," Eubanks said. "Very few people, I think, have a true heart of gold, and she is one of them."

Thomas had several tests done in a short amount of time. She woke up to several doctors and nurses surrounding her in her hospital room.

"They just told me, ya know, if you're ready let's do this," Thomas said.

The transplant was a success, and Eubanks was on track to get her life back.

"It's humbling. It's a very fulfilling feeling, and I would hope that out of all of this that it would encourage more people to donate," Thomas said.

The two women are now close friends, and they said they hope sharing their story inspires other to give the gift of life.

"They go from being bedridden, basically, to living their life like a normal human being and raising their family, it just, you can't even describe the feeling you get from it," Thomas said.

"The lady that was a complete stranger to me gave me life. I have a 3-year-old son, I could see him every day now, I couldn't before," Eubanks said.

Eubanks is still healing and has to take it easy most of the time, but doctors said her energy levels will improve over time.

If you are interested in learning more about organ donation or becoming a living donor, click the links below:
Transplant Living
Organ Donation at UPMC
Register to be a living donor at UPMC