Family Reflects on Life-saving Transplant with Gratitude

Emily-Nick-Bragorgos-350Humor, grace and gratitude are just a few of the qualities that stand out when you meet Emily Bragorgos.

A self-described wife (to her husband, Nick), mom (to three boys, Nick Jr., 20, Richard, 19 and Andrew, 16) and transplant patient, Emily and her family have a deep and personal appreciation for Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute.

“With these gifts that I have been given through my transplants, I have gotten so many more years with my kids and so many more years married to the man of my dreams. This experience has strengthened our marriage and our family and made us appreciate life so much more,” shared Emily.

In 2013, Emily became ill. After visiting many doctors to figure out what was wrong, a trip to the Emergency Room confirmed that she had end-stage liver disease.

Emily’s condition continued to worsen, and she was referred to Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute for a liver transplant. 

As soon as the Bragorgoses arrived, Methodist’s Transplant team went into action to get her on the waiting list for a liver.

“When we got there, they immediately said, ‘We are going to start testing you for a transplant.’ Over two days, she went through a round of testing that normally takes two weeks,” Nick recalls.

Within a few months, a match was located, and Emily had liver transplant surgery performed by Dr. James Eason.

“What profoundly impressed me was how she was cared for by so many people so quickly…and I mean cared for. Other healthcare providers had treated her symptomology and had done so adequately, but Methodist cared for her,” Nick shared.

At first, Emily seemed to be recovering well, but soon after, she started feeling sick again and returned to Methodist where she was told she would need another liver transplant.

The second liver transplant was successful. Looking back on their challenging experience, the Bragorgoses give credit to the entire Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute.

Emily shared, “From the ladies in the cafeteria who prayed with my husband, to the ladies who took care of me and helped me shower, to the doctors who were so steadfast in applying their knowledge, Methodist has a system that treats everybody so kindly. We were just treated gloriously.”

Nick added, “I had the cell phone numbers for all of the doctors and the staff. They always said that if I needed anything to call. It was just the accessibility of the people and the caring atmosphere, which were so profoundly unique, that made us such big fans of Methodist.”

For all they feel they have been given, Emily and Nick have chosen to give back.

“We are overwhelmed with how grateful we are to Methodist for all they did for all five of us. Through our experience, we know that other people need help. If we can help the next person needing a transplant have an easier time, we want to do that. That is why we give,” explained Emily.

In addition to generous donations to Methodist to benefit transplant patients and families, Nick serves on the Methodist Foundation Board of Directors. 

Nick shared, “I have thoroughly enjoyed being on the Board and learning more about what Methodist does. This organization has been something that Emily and I have been very grateful to have a role in. We believe that Methodist serves the community in a profound way.”

Photo: After her life-saving transplant, Emily and Nick Bragorgos have become generous supporters and advocates for the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute.