The voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

  • Like us on Facebook/TyroneEagleEye and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, & Snapchat @TyroneEagleEye

  • #TyroneProud #FeartheT #TyroneCares

One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant

"In the end, some of your greatest pain can become your greatest strength." -Unknown

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In March 2016, Sharon Salyer, then a Tyrone senior, underwent a liver transplant to try to cure her hyperammonemic attacks and consequent seizures. Her transplant surgery, and the associated costs, brought the school together to support Sharon and her family.

“Well, I got the call for the transplant on March 10th and, on March 11th, I got my transplant,” said Salyer.

The transplant became necessary when Sharon’s health problems escalated in August 2015. She was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency (OTC). This is an inherited disease that causes an excessive accumulation of nitrogen, in the form of the neurotoxin ammonia, in the blood. The excess ammonia travels through the blood to the nervous system, often causing vomiting, progressive lethargy, comas and seizures.

Well, I got the call for the transplant on March 10th and, on March 11th, I got my transplant.”

— Sharon Salyer

Salyer frequently had seizures as a result of her OTC, especially when she had hyperammonemic (abnormally high levels of ammonia) attacks. Once, she even had a seizure at school. As a result of her OTC, Salyer missed 66 days of schools during her senior year.

“Her attendance and grades are amazing considering what she has been through,” said high school guidance counselor Tiffany Johannides at the time, “Sharon never makes excuses as to why she cannot achieve something, she just keeps trying her absolute best and succeeding at what she puts her mind to.”

Salyer missed a month of school while recovering from her surgery. She spent three of those weeks in the hospital. It was not an easy road to recovery.

“I had a daily routine of medicines, insulin, getting up walking, and I didn’t have any kind of rehabilitation because when you have major surgery it’s about trying to get up and moving again,” said Salyer.

Salyer’s friend, and current Tyrone junior, McKenzie Johnson, was extremely excited for Sharon to come home. 

“I remember the day Sharon came home so well, because it was just a moment of such relief when she stepped out of her car…My excitement just exploded when I hugged her again,” said Johnson.

While Salyer was recovering, her friends and the TAHS staff planned a special way to welcome her back after her surgery. When Salyer returned, dozens of her friends and teachers were waiting at the door to greet her.

Sharon welcomed back to school by McKenzie Johnson, Adam Zook and a group of friends and teachers.

“It was a surprise to me. I didn’t expect it at all,” said Salyer.

Once back at school, Salyer quickly caught back up in classes. She was even asked to go to the prom.

“I wasn’t that far behind my classes. I passed with a B honor roll,” said Salyer.

Despite the challenges of recovering from a major surgery, the benefits greatly outweighed the hardships. Salyer’s health has improved significantly since her surgery.

“I haven’t had any seizures,” said Salyer.

Although the benefits of having the liver transplant are undeniable, recovering from such a major surgery was arduous. Salyer says that she was glad when she could finally come back to school.

“I was excited to come back, but sad at the same time because [school] was ending so quickly, and I didn’t get to make long lasting relationships with friends,” said Salyer.

Salyer says that making strong friendships was one of the challenges she’s faced because of all of her health problems. Not only did she miss a lot of school due to health complications and was unable to participate in any school activities, she also hadn’t lived in Tyrone for long before her diagnosis.

Sharon had just moved to Tyrone in March 2015, during the 4th marking period of her junior year. Barely having time to adjust to a new school, she was diagnosed with OTC that August.

“I’m just thankful for the friendships I did have [in high school],” said Salyer.

Now that she’s graduated, Salyer’s taking some time off of school.

I’m just so glad she’s still doing okay a year later. God has shown me incredible things through Sharon and her strength. I can’t thank her enough for shaping me into the person I am today.”

— McKenzie Johnson

“[I’m] working most of the time and bowling on Friday nights with my mom and sister and go to planet fitness with my mom on Mondays,” said Salyer.

When asked about her future plans, Salyer replied, “I am not quite sure yet. My first goal is to get my permit and driver’s license and then to go to YTI to be a dental assistant someday.”

Even though Salyer has graduated, her strength in recovering from her liver transplant continues to be inspirational to her friends and classmates.

“I’m just so glad she’s still doing okay a year later. God has shown me incredible things through Sharon and her strength. I can’t thank her enough for shaping me into the person I am today,” said Johnson.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

We have been getting a lot more comments recently (which is good!). Unfortunately, some of them have been kind of nasty (which is bad!). Not surprisingly, most of the nasty comments have been submitted anonymously. Therefore, if you would like us to even consider publishing your comment you must use your REAL NAME and a VALID email address. If you are a TASD student please use your school email address. Thank you and please comment responsibly!

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant

    Alumni Spotlight

    Alumni Spotlight: Class of 2010 Grad Explores Cuba

  • One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant

    Alumni Spotlight

    Alumni Spotlight: Equestrian Excellence

  • One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant

    Alumni Spotlight

    Alumni Spotlight: Winter on the Last Frontier

  • One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant

    Alumni Spotlight

    Alumni Spotlight: 2016 Grad Coy Focht

  • One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant

    Alumni Spotlight

    An Alumna in the Aloha State

  • One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant

    Alumni Spotlight

    The Enforcer : The Story of Clint Wilson

  • One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant

    Alumni Spotlight

    Two TAHS Alumni Recording and Touring as ‘Into the Storm’

  • One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant

    Alumni Spotlight

    Tyrone Alum Emily Jamison Helps the Homeless in Pittsburgh

  • One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant

    Alumni Spotlight

    Alumni Spotlight: TAHS Grad Alyssa Benton Joins Re-Creation, A National Singing Group

  • One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant

    Alumni Spotlight

    Alumni Spotlight: Tyrone Class of ’67 Grad Found Adventure Teaching in the Alaskan Bush

The voice of the Tyrone Area High School
One Year Later… TAHS Graduate Recovers from Liver Transplant