Gilroy Dispatch | Mark Powell
Unfastening one of many small plastic flaps, this one marked "Thursday," she scooped up a handful of multi-colored meds - reds, whites, yellows - and placed them in a tight pile.
"It's insane. Morning, noon and night," the 22-year-old said, standing in the kitchen of her Gilroy home off Buena Vista Avenue last Wednesday afternoon.
Antivirals, antibiotics, antifungals and a host of others - she takes about 35 pills each day at precise times. She expects to gulp down the glut of pills for another year. After that, she'll have to pop at least five of them every day for the rest of her life.
"But everything will be cut down as time goes on," she said.
Fortunately, time is something Johansen now has. A new life and a new outlook, all thanks to an early Christmas present: half her older sister's liver.
Johansen, who's battled confounding liver illnesses since age 8, including a rare bile duct disease, once feared an early death. Now, she says she could feel a difference "within a couple of days" after waking up Nov. 17 at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center with the new vital organ.