The moment I saw this story, I thought about the life and death of Walter Payton. I know he was a celebrity, but his illness showed that not even fame can save your life.
The transplant surgeon had good news: A donated liver was on the way for critically ill Maggie Catherwood. Then he asked: Would she let doctors cut off part of her new liver to share with an equally sick baby?
“I can’t imagine anyone saying no,” the 21-year-old college student said last week as, teary-eyed, she met 8-month-old Allison Brown, carefully cuddling the wide-eyed baby so as not to bump each other’s healing incisions.
Actually, few ever get the choice — something the nation’s transplant network soon may change. There’s a push to increase liver-splitting that could have many more people who are awaiting transplants being asked to share a piece of their new organ.
If the proposed changes are enacted, “I think it’s safe to say we could nearly eliminate death on the pediatric liver waiting list,” said Allison’s surgeon, Dr. Thomas Fishbein of Georgetown University Hospital.
A liver is unlike any other organ: A piece of a healthy one can grow into a whole organ in about a month. That’s why some people receive liver transplants from living donors who have just a portion of their organ cut out and given away.
It’s good to know that strides are still being made to help give the gift of life to others. I know when given the choice, most people want to go to heaven, but just not right now.
Enjoy this life; it is precious.
Full Story: 2-for-1 liver transplant saves two
Posted by Rich (subbing for Lo)
3 thoughts on “Piecing Lives Together.”
>Donorship (if that's a word) is still way down in the African American community compared to others. I think a lot of it was steeped in religious beliefs that we needed a "whole" body to get around heaven.My children's mother sits on the board of directors of the Washington Regional Transplant Consortium and some of the information that I get through her is very interesting. Ironically when the doctor told me I may need a heart transplant I figured I was doomed because typically finding a match outside your race is rare and I know my people weren't signed up to give up their organs upon death.There was a H.U. student who needed a bone marrow transplant and there was a community outreach (particularly through churches) and thousands of people — mostly strangers — lined up at centers around the City to see if they were a match for the young lady. I can't remember if they ever found an exact match but it was awakening in the African American community — well, at least in DCI can't remember where I was going with this but at any rate, I am happy for the young lady and the infant. Hopefully their bodies will "accept' the new organs and they'll have long healthy lives.
>recently, there have been stories (don't have any information to back me up; sorry) about unnecessary deaths to "participants" of organ donor so that the doctors can save another….that would be my worse fear for anyone, a life that could be saved, "snuffed" out by misdiagnosis, carelessness of the doctors & staff, of giving up hope and allowing you to die
>This is just a reminder of how precious life is. Sometimes we take "everyday" advantages for granted. Both my brother & I are organ donors. I haven't checked with other members of my family.