One more mountain: Mount Joy man hopes multi-organ transplant will be last big climb

PENN LIVE | David Wenner

Joe Gotowski, 21, of Mount Joy, is awaiting a four-organ transplant, Thursday, November 17, 2016. Dan Gleiter |
Life has taught Joe Gotowski one thing above all else: "You do not give up. You absolutely do not give up."

He's been learning that, literally, since day one. Gotowski had major surgery 72 hours after birth. He endured about 30 operations by age 11. But none could provide a cure.

Now 21, Gotowski once spent 207 consecutive days in the hospital. He never made it through a school year without being hospitalized at least once. All through childhood he faced needles, tubes, scalpels and pain. A recent series of medical issues forced him to withdraw from classes at Elizabethtown College.

The end may be in sight. Or maybe not. Gotowski has no way of knowing when he'll get the rare, multi-organ transplant he hopes will mark the beginning of a better life. He's been waiting more than a year. It might come tomorrow. Or it might take many more months.

Despite all this, there's one thing Gotowski doesn't seem to feel: sorry for himself. Continue reading
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