Transplanted liver initially saves Indiana man’s life then re-transplanted eighteen months later to save another man’s life:
May 2014 Logan had just graduated from Indiana University (IU) with a degree in chemistry. He returned for an internship program and in celebration of homecoming he and friends were out for an evening of partying. At a packed local bar, pitchers of beer were passed around of which Logan drank several only to find out days later they had been laced with pain killers that contained high levels of Acetaminophen. He went home feeling bad and took more Acetaminophen to feel better. We never found who put the pain killers in the beer.
The next day we received a call from the IU Medical Organ Transplant Center saying that Logan was admitted with acute liver failure. For two days he remained conscious while receiving therapy to lower his blood level of Acetaminophen. Then his brain swelled and herniated, and we were told that in the next days to prepare to take him off life support.
One night two senior doctors took us into a room to explain a surgical procedure to relieve pressure from Logan’s brain. The procedure was not often practiced and carried very high risks. With no options we approved the procedure and it worked! After a month in the ICU he was doing better and we were hopeful that his liver would recover. Sadly, his liver numbers slowly degraded, and he was listed for transplant.
Like many transplant recipients, Logan received two calls for donor livers only to be denied for medical reasons. Then on the morning of April 15, 2015 he received a third donor organ call and was successfully transplanted that day. Unfortunately, Logan suffered three major setbacks each life threatening, and each requiring a reopening of his abdomen. Miraculously he survived each setback.
For the next year Logan doubled down on getting better and his studies for the DAT. In 2016 he was admitted in Midwestern University School of Dentistry in Phoenix. He moved from Indiana to Arizona in July 2016 to establish his apartment and register for classes. Logan briefly returned home in late August to attend his sister’s wedding, which was the last time I saw him standing.
Logan was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) which affects the lungs and pancreas. His CF symptoms were mainly pancreatic that ultimately results in CF-related diabetes. Logan was new to insulin and on September 7th we learned that he didn’t show up for classes. I called the Glendale Police who broke into his apartment only to find him alive but unresponsive from a low blood sugar event. After a week on life support X-rays revealed that Logan’s brain was inactive. We made the horrible decision to take him off life support the next day.
Being an organ recipient is a much different experience than being an organ donor. My family experienced both. On September 14, 2016 Logan was taken off life support and ten minutes later passed before our eyes. He had signed his organ donation directive to give all useable, organs, tissues, eyes, bones, skin.
Through UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) several donors wrote to thank us for his donation….kidneys, heart valves, corneas. The most amazing letter was from a 56-year-old Arizona man who received Logan’s liver that I believe originally came from an Indiana woman. From what I know this man is doing well and living a second life!
Re-transplantation of a liver is rare. I researched the topic and my findings turned up instances of liver re-transplantation that occurred some days after the initial transplantation due to complications. I’ve not found examples of a liver being transplanted then after a period of time re-transplanted into another recipient.
We are truly grateful for the additional eighteen months that a transplant gave us with our son. His liver miraculously lives in a third person and his other donated organs and tissues have provided new lives for many others.
Hopefully this letter provides hope to all and encourages everyone to register as a donor.