Who Was Erika Zak (Battles For A Liver Transplant) Wiki, Bio, Age, Death

Erika Zak

Erika Zak Biography

Erika Zak 39 Years old mother who inspired millions through her resilience to fight for a liver transplant, died early Friday during surgery, her husband, Scott Powers, told to CNN.

Her death came after a liver became available Thursday afternoon, and her transplant team at the Cleveland Clinic hustled to prepare her for surgery, Powers said.


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Late yesterday afternoon, Erika got THE call. The one she had been waiting for for the last 15 months. Cleveland Clinic had a liver and it was hers. • The picture above is when she was saying “see you later” to Loie. Everyone was so hopeful and excited. • Her body was just too weak to endure the surgery. Erika passed away around 2am EST on August 23. • We can’t describe how very devastated we all are. This was her chance to have the normal life she wanted. This was her chance to be the mother she always wanted to be. But for some reason, it wasn’t in the cards. • Our hearts are so broken but we find peace that she left this world feeling hopeful and she is not in pain anymore. • Erika, give Daddy a hug for me. I’ll keep Scott and Loie close and make sure she knows her mommy and how much she loved her. • To all everyone who supported us over the past 5 years and especially the past few weeks, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. • In Erika’s memory, we ask people to sign up to be an organ donor at organdonor.gov or donate to the Erika Zak Memorial Fund (link in bio)

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The news of the available liver buoyed Erika’s spirits and spread excitement among her surgical team and family after waiting more than a year for this moment, he said. Before going into surgery, he said, Erika was able to spend time with the couple’s 5-year-old daughter, Loïe.

Comment from American Liver Foundation

Thomas Nealon, the president and CEO of the American Liver Foundation, said Erika’s fight to get the best possible care and her will to survive galvanized the entire liver community in a way he’s never seen before, with thousands of people reaching out to help.
He said the “thoughts and prayers from the entire American Liver Foundation community go out to Erika and her family.”

Erika said her will to live was motivated by her daughter, Loïe.

“I just heard the incredibly sad news about the passing of Erika,” he said. “She was such a powerful voice for liver patients facing the uncertainty of liver transplantation. For so many people, the waiting and inability to have control over their treatment and destiny puts patients and their families through incredible pain and distress.”
“It is my hope that all of those who have been touched by her story dedicate themselves to make sure there are no more Erika Zaks.”
In recent weeks, as her condition deteriorated, she vomited blood, her skin peeled off and she said her legs, feet and hip grew so swollen it felt “like I’m carrying an extra person on me.”
“You can’t understand real suffering — even if you’re witnessing it — unless you’re going through it,” she said. “You can describe it to your friends and family. They can watch it, but they obviously don’t know what’s happening to your morale, your body and everything else.”

Erika Zak Siblings

Her twin sister, Jenna Zak, shared some of Zak’s struggles on her own Instagram page, often lambasting the organ donor system in America.

In an Instagram where she tagged UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing, Zak showed a picture of her sister in the hospital. This was prior to the news that Zak would be getting transplant surgery.

Zak’s battle against both United Health Care and UNOS was lengthy. First, she was denied coverage for a liver transplant by her health care company; after making an emotional appeal to them last year, she was finally approved.

In 2014, the twin sisters got matching tattoos. “We might be the most “untwinlike” twins ever but least we agree on our tattoos,” Jenna wrote.

As for what the tattoos said?

“Be Brave.”

Erika Zak and Scott Powers

Erika and Scott Powers met in 1998 when he was at Brown University and she was at the Rhode Island School of Design, both in Providence

Erika Zak Husband, Married

She was married to Scott Powers. They tied the knot on Halloween in 2009.

Erika Zak Husband & Children

Erika and Scott Powers met in 1998 when he was at Brown University and she was at the Rhode Island School of Design, both in Providence.
The two were polar opposites. He was the MVP of Brown’s soccer team and majored in economics. She was into the arts and majored in textile design. He was from the tightly wound East Coast, she from the free-wheeling West Coast.
Love was born. He made her laugh and feel beautiful. Erika saw in him someone who was kind and devoted; in her, he found the woman who he’d always searched for, with a captivating sense of humor and a sailor’s mouth.
They tied the knot on Halloween in 2009.
They were married over ten years later and had their daughter a few years after that.

Erika Zak Social Media Posts

Even as her health worsened, she urged people to sign up to become organ donors to save the lives of others. “We are overwhelmed with love and this amazing community of people — friends and strangers,” she wrote on Instagram. “Fingers crossed that we can make a difference for me and so many like me.”
“There’s more that I want to see; more life I want to live,” she said.
Of death, she said, “I’m more scared of what I leave behind.”
“I basically spend a lot of time daydreaming about what I would want to do with Loie and Scott if I was healthy and where I would want to go,” she said.
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Erika Zak Liver Failure

No matter what was thrown at them — their bond grew stronger. “Liver failure is the worst thing ever,” she said.

Erika Zak Colorectal Cancer

A cancer survivor, Erika Zak said the liver disease was excruciating: “Liver failure is the worst thing ever.”

Wayne Drash@TheDrashman

I have the sad duty to report that Erika Zak – cancer survivor, fighter, mom – died this morning during a transplant operation. Her family is devastated but is grateful for the outpouring of love & support from Erika’s Army. …

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Erika Zak GoFubdMe Page

The family has set up a GoFundMe page, $5,994 raised of $50,000 goal for her funeral and other expenses. They have asked for privacy during this time to grieve.

Esther Choo, MD MPH


Beyond painful to learn that PDXer Erika Zak died in surgery today. I’m so sorry, @ErikaZak1. You were astonishingly brave and outspoken about your fight, and so many of us were pulling hard for you to get to that lagoon and waterfall 😥 https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/23/health/erika-zak-liver-transplant-obituary/index.html 

Erika Zak, mom who inspired millions in her fight to get a liver, dies at 39

Erika Zak, the mother who inspired millions through her resilience to fight for a liver transplant, died early Friday during surgery, her husband, Scott Powers, told CNN. She was 39.


Esther Choo, MD MPH


The GoFundMe for her daughter, Loie, is here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/erika-zak-memorial?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet 

Please please please sign up to be an organ donor here: http://organdonor.gov . It matters.

Erika Zak Memorial

While our family is devastated by the loss of our beautiful wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, we do want to express our deepest gratitude to all of those who have supported Erika and our…