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Jefferson U. establishes live-donor liver transplant program

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Thomas Jefferson University is expanding its organ transplant program. The hospital now offers liver transplant surgery from a living donor.

Transplant surgeon Cataldo Doria says, in general, when you’re waiting for a liver from a deceased donor, the sicker you are, the shorter the wait.

But if you live in Philadelphia, where there are five transplant centers and many patients waiting, you can be very sick, but not sick enough to get a organ quickly.

Doria: So that patient will languish on the waiting list for many years without being transplanted, that is the classical example of a patient that might benefit from live donor liver transplantation.

Surgeons take just a portion of the donor’s liver, and the organ regenerates to its pre-surgery size within two to three weeks.

Doria says living donors don’t have any long-term health restrictions, but they should be monitored for life. Donors can be away from work and other everyday activities for up to six weeks.

Ursula Hobbs provides education at Jefferson to help potential donors weigh the decision.

Hobbs: We like them to know that sometimes it does affect the relationships of the person that they are donating to. That can be in a positive or a negative way. We let people know that it’s OK to be worried, to be afraid, and that’s why the work-up for living donors is something that isn’t rushed.

Hobbs says it’s a big step – and an altruistic act – for a healthy person to donate part of their liver and undergo major surgery.

Jefferson joins Penn Medicine, which was the first in the region to have a live-donor liver transplant program.

One Comment

  • Tamisha Mothersill says:

    I hope all is well with you. My name is Tamisha Mothersill and the love of my life my Mom Mercedes Johnson is very ill. She is only 53 yrs old and still beautiful. She had me very young but my brothers and I had a very good childhood because she was an awesome. We grew up in the South Bronx it was rough and we were poor but my Mom made the best of things. We relocated to Virginia in 2002. My Mom always put everyone needs especially her children first. She was the Mom that didn’t want to work so she can greet us when we got home from school. She became a foster parent; my Mom loves children and fell in love with my two little brothers that she adopted. One of them is even HIV positive and the other one has a slight delay. But my Mom is so loving she didn’t care and I was a great lesson to me. Love has no boundaries not matter who or what you are. That’s why I am asking for your help. I don’t want money just your suggestions in what to do. We can’t afford these private insurances but we have applied for Medicaid and Medicare (case number is ASE630023230) and have been waiting since September 2010 but it is still pending. I don’t know if she will make it if she doesn’t get a Liver Transplant. I sit anxiously waiting for her insurance to kick so I can go and see if I am a match for her. I just can’t lose my best friend. I am just afraid the same thing that happen to her father will happen to her. He waited for Medicare to kick in and his health got worse. So he passed and the day after he passed the letter came that he was approved. My Mom is a grandmother by the way and just as fun caring as she was to us she is to her granddaughters. I need her for the best conversations, for her truthfulness and for her momma love. Let me know what you suggest me coming to you as a daughter looking for hope. God gives you what you can handle, he is able to do the impossible and he always near. That’s what I tell myself every morning and night to deal with what my Mom is going through. Thanks for taking time out to read my message. God bless you and all of your future endeavors. My email, telephone numbers 917.478.2569/540.604.1479 and my address is 7101 Gamma Lane, Fredericksburg, VA 22407.

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