From "Many Sleepless Nights," by Lee Gutkind, recently published by W.W. Norton & Co. Rebecca Treat, who lives in Sacramento, received a liver transplant in 1985.
WHAT motivated Army Specialist 4th Class Rebecca Treat to go on sick call at Ft. Campbell, Ky., was a general feeling of tiredness and a sudden swelling of her legs. Almost overnight, she had gained more than 20 pounds. "The doctor knew what was wrong right away," Treat said. "I had chronic/active hepatitis, non-A, non-B. But I didn't know exactly what that meant--I mean, to me, to my husband, to our future--until I was sent, airlifted, to Ft. Gordon, Ga., for a liver biopsy."
The doctor sat down beside her bed and then he cleared his throat, and his face got kind of white. "He said that if there was anything that I had ever wanted to do in my life that I should do it within the next six months because I was going to become very ill. When he said that, I thought, 'Well, I could die.' "I immediately started to make jokes about it," she said. "I was just joking the whole time the doctor was talking to me. I kidded about touring Europe, hiking in Alaska. From that point on, I never really took it seriously because I just couldn't believe that that was going to happen; I'm young, and it was such a shock. How could I be dying? I had never been sick before a day in my life."