‘I just want to live for him’: Forsyth County mom battling two rare liver diseases needs a transplant

North Carolina

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — A single mother in Forsyth County is praying for a miracle.

Ashley Payne is battling two rare diseases that have quickly progressed to stage 3 liver failure.

She desperately needs a transplant and is still waiting to even get on the waiting list for treatment at Duke Health.

The 34-year-old is battling autoimmune hepatitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis. Both diseases do not have a cure.

“It’s very miserable, the side effects from everything are horrible. I don’t wish this on nobody. It’s terrible, but I have to push through,” Payne said.

The pandemic has also been hard on Payne. The threat of COVID-19 has presented challenges for her as a hairstylist, on top of already struggling to stay healthy.

“Every day is an up and down battle some days I wake up good, some days I don’t. It’s just really an up and down battle with the pain and how I feel,” Payne said.

Her toughest battle is the one she faces at home.

She’s the proud mom of a smart and talented 16-year-old athlete at East Forsyth High School and she doesn’t want to miss out on the years ahead.

“I try not to think of the disease and try to just think of surviving it for my son and most importantly I try not to show how I really feel about it in front of him because it has really taken a big toll on him,” Payne said.

Payne’s doctors at Duke are trying to keep her comfortable while she waits anywhere from two months to a year for a transplant.

If you are interested in helping Payne and following her journey you can find more information here.

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