MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The pandemic has caused many issues, including the reluctance of people in need of medical care to go to the hospital.

Luckily, one South Florida man had the courage to go to Broward Health when he needed a liver transplant.

“It’s scary. I didn’t even want to come in here right now because I was afraid I would catch something,” said Robert Renaker.

But Renaker overcame his fear and now he’s home.

Renaker went to the hospital for his liver transplant. It wasn’t the first attempt.

“I almost turned down a liver. I’ve been here twice. Two of them were rejected because they weren’t good because of the virus,” explained Renaker. “But you can’t let the virus control your life.”

Advice from the 55-year-old who had a cancerous tumor in his liver removed, but didn’t feel right afterwards.

Renaker lost more than 100 pounds and was constantly fatigued.

After 281 days on the liver transplant list, the procedure is done during a pandemic.

“This hospital is safe. You’re better off in the hospital getting treatment for anything than not coming and dying on the side of the street or in your house,” said Renaker.

He credits his surgeon Dr. Joshua Shaw and the entire Broward Health liver transplant team for the care, and dealing with him.

“I’m a high stress person and I’m not the easiest person and I probably drove them crazy at times,” Renaker said with a laugh, “but Dr. Shaw there is fabulous.”

Doctors across the country have had difficulties performing medical procedures during the pandemic.

Dr. Shaw appreciates Broward’s Health’s efforts to make work the necessary work safe.

“We’re very fortunate here at Broward to be in a system that has put a number of safeguards in place to protect our patients and providers that allow us to continue to do what we need to do,” Dr. Shaw said. “And in Robert’s case, that was to get a liver transplant.”

Steven "Goldie" Goldstein

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