By Steve Malm
It is to the enduring credit of the Community Alliance newspaper that its focus has always been equity, justice, and compassion. It is in that sense we make an appeal for the gift of life for one of our own, Caroline Jackson. Caroline, a successful attorney, passionate hiker, photographer and social justice advocate, has end-stage liver disease. Due to a major hemorrhage, she recently fell into a coma for several days and lay close to death. Miraculously, emergency surgery was able to restore her to a degree of health.
But with the severity of her condition and the shortage of donor livers, there is little question Caroline has not long to live. It is well known that most end-stage liver candidates die before ever receiving a transplant. “There is a growing need for a limited number of available organs and more people are dying while waiting so we need to look at ways to continue to safely increase the organ pool,” says Hemal Patel, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Henry Ford Hospital.
Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital conducted a study that indicated the widespread safety of being a live liver donor. The study looked at donor safety from a single center over a period of 10 years and found there were no patient deaths and no life-threatening complications requiring ICU care. “In our 10-year, single-center experience, there was a 100% donor survival rate, and with most of the complications being low-grade, this is good news for the future of this type of transplantation.”
Adult-to-adult living donor liver transplants, introduced about a decade ago, involve donation of the right liver lobe usually from a recipient’s relative or close friend. A living donor liver transplant provides a significant contribution to the organ pool and thus reduces wait-list morbidity and mortality.
Therefore, we make this appeal for compassion, for human generosity, for a living donor who might willingly donate part of his liver to Caroline—and thus extend her life an estimated 20 years. The portion of the living donor liver allocated to the recipient grows back in a short time. The standard hospital stay is a mere two days for this procedure.
Eligible donors for Caroline are Type A- and O- and O+ blood and must be under 61 years of age. If you wish to consider being a living donor or for more information, contact Steve Malm at 559-349-7796 or visit out Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/Need-Compassionate-Living-Liver-Donor-for-Transplant/423742757716834).
Steve Malm is on the boards of the local ACLU and the Fresno Center for Nonviolence. Contact him at email@example.com or 559-349-7796.