Lowville man needs liver transplant, holds out hope for a donor

Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 5:56 PM EDT
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - A Lowville father is looking for help in securing a liver transplant that could save his life. His liver disease has progressed and time is running out.

“It’s hard for me to just sit here and not be able to do a whole lot.”

Meet John Bice. Right now, his mornings consist of dizziness, nausea, and a cocktail of around 16 pills, including blood thinners.

“They’re trying to keep the blood flowing through there so it doesn’t get really thick and cause problems,” he said.

Bice is battling an autoimmune disorder that attacks his liver, and his liver disease has progressed to stage 3 cirrhosis. The most visible toll is weight loss since he says he often feels too ill to eat.

“I can go upstairs, shave, shower, and come downstairs, sit in my chair, and fall asleep because I’m so exhausted. Normal people can be doing 20 more things after that,” he said.

Bice used to work at ARC in Lowville. But since April, he’s been too sick to hold a job. The self-proclaimed lawn perfectionist is even too tired to maintain his yard. Now his family relies on state disability. To save money, he’s taken his car off the road.

“You should be doing these things and you can’t. It’s difficult. I just want to go back to having a normal life,” he said.

Now, Bice is holding out hope for a living liver donor. A successful procedure would leave both him and the donor with fully functional livers. He’d just have to take anti-rejection medication

“It’s a process but it gives you a second chance at life,” he said.

“It would change everything. He wouldn’t be as sick anymore,” said Bice’s son, Alex Miller.

For those looking to support Bice, a benefit will be held this Sunday at Lowville’s Bethel Church of the Nazarene.

The benefit will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature a Chinese auction along with a spaghetti dinner.

To be an organ donor match with John, you must have either an O+ or O- blood type, between the ages of 18-60 and have a healthy liver. For more details on testing for compatibility, call 1-585-275-5875.