COLUMBUS, Ohio — Second chances don't come easy, but five years after receiving a liver transplant, one woman's life has never been the same. 

What You Need To Know

  • Madison Staiger had a liver transplant after being diagnosed with hepatopulmonary syndrome

  • HPS affects the liver, causing breathing problems and low blood-oxygen levels

  • The transplant inspired Staiger to go into the health care industry

  • She’s currently working toward her health care innovation degree at Ohio State

Everything changed in 2018. Madison Staiger was diagnosed with hepatopulmonary syndrome when she was 26.

“Dr. Kelly came and just dropped the bomb out of nowhere,” said Staiger. 

HPS affects the liver, causing breathing problems and low blood-oxygen levels, and it took a toll on her. 

“I couldn’t, you know, do my job as well,” she said. “I got really tired, had to leave early. I couldn’t stay awake, couldn’t focus on anything. I wasn’t doing well in school.”

Doctors said she needed a liver transplant, and fast. 

“Staiger had a unique medical disease in which her liver disease caused severe shortness of breath,” said Dr. Sean Kelly, Medical Director of Liver Transplantation. “That made it very important that we got a liver transplant for her very quickly. Some cases are worse than others. Madison’s was as urgent as they come.”

Five years later, she says she’s better than ever. The transplant is the reason she wants to go into the health care industry.

Staiger is now studying for her health care innovation degree at OSU. 

While it’s a time to focus on herself, Staiger often dreams of the difference she’ll make. 

“To have someone do something to give you a second chance at life and just wanting to do that for others…” she said. “It was really hard, but it absolutely changed my life, and I would not change it for anything.” 

To help someone like Staiger, go to here to become an organ donor.