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Baton Rouge woman's harrowing story of survival after contracting Hepatitis A

4 months 5 days 15 hours ago Monday, June 17 2019 Jun 17, 2019 June 17, 2019 7:04 PM June 17, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Amy Maggio is a mother of four, a wife, and a marathon runner. Never did she think she would battle Hepatitis A. 

It all started two weeks ago the same day Amy was celebrating her anniversary with her husband Blake. Amy thought she had just the minor flu, she was tired, had chills and was vomiting.

"I had flu-like symptoms, and we made an appointment with the doctor... And he was like, 'it’s not flu season,'” Amy said.

The doctor ran some tests, sent her home and a day later Amy and Blake got the results.

"She called and she was like, 'no you have liver failure you need to go to Tulane,'” Amy said.

Amy was diagnosed with Hepatitis A, a virus that infects the liver. She was shocked at how her healthy lifestyle failed her.

“I just ran a marathon in January, I had a physical... How is this possible? How do you even get Hepatitis A? And they said it was just from something I ate,” Amy said.

By Saturday her liver was 90-percent dead, and her time was dwindling. But at 1 o'clock in the morning, the news came.

"It's crazy, that same Saturday the nurse came in said we found a liver,” Blake said.

The family was filled with joy and disbelief.

“Words can't describe it. Just last week was so different from any other day. There was just things that you take for granted every day. Last week I just didn't any longer, and now this week it's just reality,” Blake said.

Less than two weeks later, Amy is well on her way to recovery and it may have been those marathons that saved her life.

“Because I was so healthy and it was an acute liver failure... I just bounced back pretty quickly,” Amy said.

In Louisiana there are 278 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A in the last year. According to the Department of Health, the best way to prevent Hepatitis A is by getting your vaccine. You can also help prevent it by washing your hands and avoiding pre-packaged foods.

Symptoms of the virus are very flu-like; fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and joint pain. If you have any of these symptoms you should see your physician. For more information on Hepatitis A or how you can prevent it click here.

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