Two Liver Stories

 I don’t think a week passes without being in contact with a “liver friend”.  I am in contact with some through friends and family.  At times the liver clinic will ask that I speak to someone while some come to me through this blog.  It’s a great alumni group – and we all fall in two groups.  Before and after.

Here are two stories…. 


My “before” story goes to Paul.  Paul is in the Chicago area and about my age.  He is a fellow pilot, and fly’s the same machine I fly.  He is a retired school superintendent, not retired by choice but because of liver disease.  Paul has a rare liver disease called PSC.  Paul needs a new liver.  

Cadaver livers are distributed through UNOS from donors according to very strict guidelines.  Each potential recipient receives a score.  It is called a MELD score.  The higher the score, the better chance you have to get transplanted.  It’s all supply and demand.  The demand is greater than the supply. Through what I feel is a fluke in the system, my score started out very high and I wasn’t sick.  Not so with PSC.  Paul can be sick with no chance of a liver. 

This leaves Paul with the only probable option of live donor liver transplantation (LDLT) This is a procedure in which a living person donates a portion of his or her liver to another. The liver is the only organ in your body that regenerates.  A donor can donate part of their liver and it grows back in a matter of a few short weeks. When it comes to liver transplants the only “must haves” are size and blood type.  Of course, there are other considerations too, but not near as many as say a kidney transplant.

Paul’s story is compelling. Four people have stepped forward as potential donors, some of them strangers, to donate part of their liver.  So far all of been rejected for technical reasons.  Paul’s daughter has started a Facebook page where his story resides.  It is at http://www.facebook.com/FindPaulsLiver?v=info His daughter’s E-Mail is findpaulaliver@gmail.com.  Pass the word….



This belongs to Kortni.  Kortni is doing fine today after her transplant but she had a hell of a ride to get there.  Kortni had 2 transplants in 4 days.

Kortni is a young and vivacious young woman.  She had liver disease and her sister decided to donate part of her liver.  99% of the time this is successful.  Less than 1% of the time it doesn’t work.  While the surgery went well, the new liver did not start.  Like a computer that stalls with the boot up, Kortni’s new liver stalled out.  In aviation parlay she was out of altitude, airspeed and ideas all at the same time.

In these events, all stops are pulled out.  It’s a real emergency and you are automatically elevated to Status 1 – that means you get the next liver that comes along and jump to # 1 in the line. She got another liver and now is doing well.  Her transplant ooccurred after mine, so I was able to follow her progess through her blog and could relate to her daily progress.

Kortni’s story is compelling.  And you can read it at:  http://kkchoppedliver.wordpress.com/surgery-pictures/  

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