GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Coast woman who thought her life might be over was given a second chance, thanks to the gift of life. Now, she's back doing what she loves and is thankful for every moment she has.
Susan Smith, 59, has loved the theatre for as long as she can remember. The retired Bay High teacher has performed in numerous plays on the Coast, and now she's extremely thankful to be back on stage doing what she loves.
"This has been a big part of my life, and it was gone for several years. Now, it's back. I think it's amazing. It's wonderful, and I'm as happy as I can be," said Smith.
It's especially meaningful now, because about five years ago, her life came to a halt. She was suddenly exhausted and was eventually diagnosed with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH.
"I became so tired, I couldn't walk from my car to my classroom. It was ridiculous," said Smith.
Her life was put on hold. She needed a liver and kidney transplant and finally got one in December 2013.
"I've been given a brand new chance to live. I feel so much better," said Smith.
Now, a little over a year later, she is back on stage for the first time in several years performing in Gulfport Little Theatre's "August: Osage County."
"I'm thankful to be able to do this again. This is what I love," Smith.
She says being on stage is her passion, and it's something she thought she might never be able to do again.
"The thought of never being able to do a play was depressing, and I hope to do some more," said Smith.
She's thrilled to be on stage again and is especially thankful for her second chance at life and the special donor who made it possible.
"I'm thankful. I thank God every day, and I thank my donor," said Smith.
She hopes sharing her story will bring more awareness about the need for organ donors.
"I don't like talking about myself, but I wanted to do this. I owed it to my donor to do this. They gave me this amazing gift, and I wanted people to know about that."
If you'd like to see Smith enjoying her second chance at life on stage, the play "August: Osage County" runs through Sunday at Gulfport Little Theatre.