Thursday, September 24, 2020

Daughter Saves Father’s Life By Donating Liver In First Living-Donor Liver Transplant At Pittsburgh VA Hospital – CBS Pittsburgh

Transplant News Sharing // News from Source

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh’s VA hospital partnered with UPMC to perform the VA’s first-ever living donor-liver transplant.

Timothy Yablonski’s liver was failing.

“They said it was stage 4 cirrhosis, non-alcoholic. Like a fatty liver disease type of thing,” Yablonski said.

His liver couldn’t keep up, and his belly ballooned.

“I had stretch marks from how much the fluid was building up,” Yablonski said.

He needed a transplant. Yablonski tried to get on the list for a deceased donor but his doctors were concerned.

“They considered my case urgent,” he says. “You’re not going to be able to wait for a deceased donor.”

Turns out, help was very much alive – and immediately available — from his daughter, Alyssa Last.

(Photo Credit: Provided)

“You do what you can for the people you love,” she says. “I’m sure for anyone it’s hard seeing someone you love struggle, especially for their life,” Last said.

“She’s my wife’s daughter, but she wasn’t my biological daughter. So I didn’t even know she was eligible for something like this,” says Yablonski.

As an Army veteran, he was eligible for care through the VA hospitals. But living-donor liver transplants had not been done before through the VA.

“I am the first one,” he says.

The operation happened at UPMC on March 16 or 3/16, as Yablonski points out, which has spiritual significance for him.

“I consider John 3:16 a day of promise,” Yablonski said.

“It’s a large team that has to do this. There’s two simultaneous operating rooms going, where we have one for the donor, one for the recipient,” says Dr. Abhi Humar, chief of transplantation at UPMC. “The first part of it involves removing a portion of the donor’s liver. It literally takes the whole day.”

“When they took my liver out, it was like hamburger, falling apart,” Yablonski said.

The donor’s liver grows back over several months. At the time, hospital visitors were not allowed.

“My wife, who has been there throughout this whole thing and wasn’t able to be up there with us,” Yablonski said.

He has to be on medicines to suppress his immune system so he doesn’t reject the liver.

“That has to be balanced against the risk of doing a transplant at a time there’s a potential for higher risk of infection,” says Dr. Humar.

But the risk of not doing the transplant was greater.

“We had to make some adjustments. We’ve been doing the mask for quite a while,” says Yablonski. “I’m so thankful to be here.”

Dr. Humar points out there are not enough deceased liver donors to meet the need, and living donors help to fill that gap.

While the procedure is more common in other parts of the world, in the US, only 5 percent of liver transplants are with a living donor.

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

Transplant News
Transplant News
Transplant News brings you original and carefully curated aggregate news stories, articles and content that matter to the transplant community, from top publishers around the web. Everything from patient stories, to the latest in transplant innovation, TN is your window into the world of transplantation.

Facebook Comments


Must Read

Death Rate Escalates for Pediatric Liver Transplant Patients in ‘Growth Failure Gap’

Transplant News Sharing // News from Source ...

Antifungal preventive medications reduce mortality risk for lung transplant patients: Study | Health News

Transplant News Sharing // News from Source Minnesota: Antifungal preventive medications reduce mortality risk by half in the first year following lung transplantation, according...

Can Cell-free DNA Test Predict Cancer In An Individual?

Transplant News Sharing // News from Source Cancer and its various forms have emerged as one of the biggest killers for...

Liver Transplant Team Part of National Trial to Increase Donor Pool

Transplant News Sharing // News from Source UC San Diego Health program offers comprehensive care with excellent outcomes Nationally, more than 12,000 people need a...

How a COVID-19 Procedure Helps the Case for Better Lung Transplant Use

Transplant News Sharing // News from Source In late May, a surgery team at the Northwestern Medicine Lung Transplant Program executed a medical marvel:...