Daughter born with Hep C
The name of this HEP storyteller was withheld to protect the identity of his daughter.
Twenty-one years ago, my wife and I adopted a beautiful baby girl. From the beginning of the adoption process, we were informed that Sarah’s biological mother had infected her with the hepatitis C virus at birth. We both fell in love with her the moment we first met her. I remember her chubby cheeks and her big black eyes; it was love at first sight.
Although we were very concerned with this situation, at the time there was no treatment available for people under the age of 18. Treatment for adults was not very successful back then either.
When she was old enough to understand, we told her that she was carrying the hepatitis C virus and informed her of the safety precautions that she needed to follow. One day while playing with friends, she cut her hand. Immediately, she informed her friends not to touch her because she was carrying the virus. We were so proud of our daughter.
Last year during her regular visit with her specialist, we were informed that a new medication was available that showed great success. The name of the medication was Harvoni. After a few intense conversations, we were able to convince Sarah to take the treatment. On October 8, 2015, four weeks into her treatment, we received news that she was undetected. I was sitting at my desk at work, and started to cry. A colleague asked me if there was something wrong. I said, “No, a miracle is happening.” Although she was far from reaching a sustained virologic response (SVR), the mark that demonstrates she is cured, the medication for which I’d been praying for 21 years was working. On January 14, 2016, she received news that she was cured; the virus was gone.
Sarah is finishing her third year of university and will be going to Austria this summer to continue her studies. She can pursue her dreams of working abroad knowing that the virus is gone. We are so proud of our baby girl. Although she is now a young woman, in our hearts she will always be our baby girl.
What adjective best describes you?
What is your greatest achievement?
Having my daughter being cured of hep C.
What is your greatest regret?
I have no regrets.
What keeps you up at night?
My hockey team not making the playoffs :).
What is the best advice you ever received?
Never give up hope.
What person in the viral hepatitis community do you most admire?
My daughter’s doctor; she first saw her when she was 9 months old and cured her 20 years later.
What drives you to do what you do?
Love of life.
What is your motto?
Don’t be afraid to live.
If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?
If you could be any animal, what would you be?