Violinist and Professor of Music at Sarah Lawrence College, Sungrai Sohn was stricken with full-blown Hepatitis B in his early fifties. Unknown to him, the disease had been passed to him as a very young child and lay dormant for many years. Then, in 1998, it hit full force – and his normal life was over. A life full of teaching, performing, and family hung in the balance.
Sungrai was terminally ill. He lost weight. His skin took on a yellow cast. The Hepatitis had destroyed over 80 percent of his liver function, and that spawned a host of disorders. Constant pain, fever, bleeding in his esophagus, agonizing cramps throughout his body. His wife, Patricia, herself a musician and teacher, was his main caregiver and patient advocate. Over the last 15 years, he has experienced pain and suffering that few of the rest of us ever have. He had a living donor liver transplant in 2001 followed by an additional, tough bile duct repair operation a year later. In 2014 he had a second transplant, this time from a deceased donor.
Sungrai has faced his medical challenges with courage and dignity. Along the way, he has become a tireless supporter of organ donation. In the last year, he has developed a combination concert and talk which he offers to groups and organizations on the theme of his approach to dealing with severe illness. For more information please ….
In 2012 the documentary film, “To Have & To Give” was produced by Sungrai’s living donor brother-in-law, Dave Esposito. The film chronicles Sungrai’s first transplant and the profound effect this life-saving surgery had on him it had on his family. You can watch the trailer below…