Thursday, September 24, 2020

Buffalo Priest Needs Liver Transplant

Transplant News Sharing // News from Source spectrumlocalnews.com

A priest in the Diocese of Buffalo received a life-changing diagnosis several years ago. Now, he’s sharing his story in hopes of not only saving his life but also to raise awareness about organ donations.

“I’m a very private person, but I had to give up that privacy when I realized that the only way I was going to be able to live was to get this word out,” Father John Mack said.

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to hit the country, plenty of Americans like Father John Mack are staying indoors to keep themselves safe. Mack is quarantining in his home in Rochester. The 65-year-old was diagnosed with non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver in 2014.

“I’m not getting worse, my liver is still functioning as much as it can be,” he said.

Liver transplant specialists at Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital proposed the Rochester native receive a living liver donation. The surgical procedure requires surgeons to remove a portion of the liver from a healthy person who is alive and place it into someone whose liver is not working properly. It could take months or years to find a donor match.

“Usually when you’re talking about an organ transplant you’re thinking that’s happening to somebody else, and so now it’s going to happen to me,” he said.

After Strong Memorial Hospital’s transplant clinic added him to the liver transplant list, Father Mack was given a support group otherwise known as his “team of champions.” They help spread his story and raise awareness about organ donation, something Father Mack now considers his mission.

“Talk about organ donation, these are very difficult conversations to have because oftentimes you’re dealing with death and dying and people don’t want to live with that,” he said.

Donor requirements include:

  • Having a blood type of A or O (positive or negative)
  • Between ages 18 and 55
  • In relatively good health
  • Similar in size to Mack (medium to large build) with a body mass index (BMI) no higher than 30
  • Have no significant medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease or any serious diagnosed mental health issues
  • Test negative for active or chronic hepatitis B and C

Father Mack says throughout his journey, he’s come across kind people along the way willing to lend a hand.

“There’s people all around us who are both in need and my experience has been that people are willing to offer something of themselves for someone,” he said.

Check out his website to see how you can help him out.

Transplant News Sharing // “Liver Transplants” – Google News from Source spectrumlocalnews.com

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