Tanner man discusses struggle with liver disorder - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Tanner man discusses struggle with liver disorder

Lloyd Birdwell has "Biliary Atresia," a life-threatening condition. (Source: WAFF) Lloyd Birdwell has "Biliary Atresia," a life-threatening condition. (Source: WAFF)
TANNER, AL (WAFF) -

Lloyd Birdwell is waiting on a phone call - the most important call of his 33-year life.

That caller will tell him to come, immediately, to the University of Alabama Birmingham for a liver transplant.

Lloyd has "Biliary Atresia," a life-threatening condition. He says the openings in his bile ducts are not normal, causing material to back up into the liver.

"It causes cirrhosis and it destroys the liver," Birdwell explained.

The ducts normally carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and to the intestines. Atresia is usually discovered in babies. His was discovered early, between 6-10 weeks of age.

Like other babies born with this condition, there were other abnormalities.

"I was born with my spleen on the outside of my rib cage. It's enlarged to the point where the doctors told me I couldn't play any contact sports," he said.

And while the costs for the surgery are covered by insurance, other costs are not.

"My prescription plan from my insurance only covers 33 percent of it, and the medication I got to take is like seven medications at first for six months," Birdwell said. "There's one of them that's like $2,000. And one was $4,000 a month."  

After surgery, he must stay in a townhome close to the hospital for a while. 

Most of us have a certain image in our head: where we would like to be at a certain time in our lives. For Lloyd, he has his own image where he would like to be at a certain time after his surgery.

"I hope, maybe, I I'll be able to go back to work - maybe have kids," he said.

High hopes for a regular life. If you want to help Lloyd, click here.

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