CENTER TWP — Slipped into a recent Sunday's classifieds, sandwiched between ads seeking antiques and a gasoline golf cart, a small notice in the Butler Eagle from a Butler woman sought the community's help saving her life.
“Hello, my name is Lorraine. I have a liver disease called autoimmune cholangitis,” it said. “My only chance to live is to find a living liver donor. Will need type O blood and to be healthy and between the ages 18-54. Call 724-713-6967.”
Back at her home near Butler, retired nurse Lorraine Skomo, 69, waits by the phone with her husband, David, and their dog, Maggie, hoping for a generous donor to reach out with a life-changing offer.
“We've done about everything we can,” David Skomo said. “I don't know what else we could do. We've put posters up; Facebook; you know how it goes. It's like wildfire.”
The Skomos first started looking for a donor around five months ago, David said, after her doctor ran a test to measure the condition of her liver and found it worse than ever.
Lorraine and David enlisted their son, Darin, to spread the word on social media, while they began taking ads out in the newspaper and doing anything else they could think of to get the word out.
Eventually the calls started coming in. But so far, none has worked out.
As a retired nurse, Skomo spent decades helping people in the same situation she now finds herself in.
For the next few decades Skomo did her best to manage the disease, taking medications and seeing a specialist.
The disease, however, continued to worsen despite the treatments and recently progressed to cirrhosis, threatening her health and manifesting in a host of symptoms.
Still, Lorraine said she's grateful for the support of her family and community.
Read the full story in Monday's Butler Eagle.