René’s story

JCI organ donation – initiated by JCI Iserlohn (Germany)

“Hello, I’m René! I need your help – and eventually, unfortunately, a donor liver.

Many of you know me from various trainings, from national and international conferences or my posts from #WJochenende.

After several years of professional and JCI full throttle, I pushed the constant fatigue and almost no recovery on overexertion and went – completely unconcerned – to my family doctor. The following health check revealed liver abnormalities. It was followed by a marathon to doctors and specialists, numerous investigations … and in the end, the suspicion was confirmed: it is an end-stage liver cirrhosis of unknown cause!

The fright for family and friends was great!

I was until recently, apparently, perfectly healthy! What was missing for a long time was the cause.

Alcohol, drugs, poisoning, autoimmune diseases, everything could be gradually eliminated.


In the second half of the year, my health deteriorated dramatically, and I have not been able to work since then, spending several weeks in the hospital during periods of stress. Twice I had to jump the devil, but my will remained strong. I did not want to accept on my own that the cause could not be found out.

By chance, my illness then got a name: I suffer from the very, very rare Budd-Chiari syndrome (hepatic venous thrombosis), a progressive closure of the blood vessels in the liver.

Since then it was clear that I am at some point and then only a donor organ can help. Since January 2019 I am now on the transplant list – and wait! Now I am the often nameless patient who needs an organ donation in weeks, months or perhaps years.


I know that some can not trust that everything is right when choosing a donor or assigning organs. So far, I have seen the system as very precise and positively bureaucratic in this context, also because of the great doctors and supervising departments.

Please inform yourself exactly and then decide!

The encouragement of families and friends from the WJ network is overwhelming and gives me tremendous strength. Spontaneous, serious offers for living donations, financial support and always an open ear, for almost 1.5 years now, touch me a lot. In all humility, I am very grateful for what I receive from you.

I wish that more people – and especially my JCI friends – would choose to save a person’s life after their death. No matter how healthy you live, it can hit anyone! “


René Elsässer



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