Welcome, big sister.
The diet is primarily low protein/ low sodium. The low protein helps keep ammonia levels down and the low sodium helps reduce the ascites.
It's amazing how much protein and salt is in everything we eat. When Mark was at his worst, we limited his diet to (I believe) 40 grams of protein and 1 gram of sodium per DAY. To keep it simple, there's about 7 grams of protein in 1 egg, or 5-6 ounces of meat (precooked). Watch dairy products, breads, etc. for protein and, especially, sodium.
None of those just-add-meat dinner mixes, boxed side dishes, any packaged meals - they are LOADED with sodium. Most sodas, especially colas, have sodium. You'll have to read the ingredients on everything you buy, which is why I started making everything from scratch.
Also - what most people don't know - watch your meats! Many packaging companies add a 'flavoring' to chicken, among other meats, which is salt-based. I don't believe that I have any of my recipes any more, so I can't send you what I used to make. But, meatloaf isn't bad if you add a lot of sauted onion, celery, and garlic. Adding oatmeal, which doesn't have as much protein as ground meat, helps stretch. Ground turkey and pork also help.
Lots of fruits and vegetables. We went through tons of citrus. If there's no blood sugar issues, desserts (watch the sodium - including baking powder and baking soda) are helpful to fill up.
Watch 'free water' which is a fancy name for plain water. Not only does it contribute to enzyme imbalances, some of the bottled stuff has added sodium!
As for the VA - depending on your brother's service, they will cover transplant and all care, including rehab, respite and hospice. They will bring oxygen, wheelchairs, any therapeutic items that he may need. Any tests that have been done in the last 6 months, toward getting listed for transplant, should still be valid and it will help the VA doctors if the records can be transferred.
I know that's a lot of information. So, if I missed something or wasn't clear, please let me know.
We started out at the VA and ended up, through Mark's disability and state-provided healthcare, getting his surgery through a private hospital.
If you let me know what city and state you live in, I'll see if I can find some specific information about the VA in your area.
God bless and keep your chin up.
Fiance had HCV, cirrhosis, ESLD, ascites, and portal hypertension. Was transplanted June 2004. Now, on interferon and ribavirin. Hepatitis C is back.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.