Five-month-Old Baby Gets Liver Donor In a Matter of Minutes

by Julia Samuel on  December 27, 2016 at 2:39 PM Health Watch
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Highlights
  • A rare liver disorder called for a liver transplant for the 5-month-old baby Daniel McCabe.
  • Within an hour after the doctors added him in the waiting list, he received a donor.
  • A liver transplant is surgery to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver from another person. A whole liver may be transplanted, or just part of one.
Daniel McCabe, the 5-month-old, has been fighting a rare liver disorder since he was born. On Dec. 13 doctors placed him on the waiting list for a new liver and prepared to wait weeks, if not months, with his life in the balance.
Five-month-Old Baby Gets Liver Donor In a Matter of Minutes
Five-month-Old Baby Gets Liver Donor In a Matter of Minutes

Daniel went on the list at 10:15 a.m., and at 10:55 a.m., a doctor received the good news and walked into his room at Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital to inform his mom. "I was just speechless," recounted Melody McCabe.

The average wait for a liver is 149 days for adults and 86 days for kids. Only about 40 people have gotten a match in 40 minutes or less over the last five years. The infant from Waukesha, Wisconsin, had successful surgery the following evening is now recuperating.

Riccardo Superina, says Daniel is one of the smallest transplant patients the hospital has ever operated on - weighing in at less than 9 pounds. The organ came from a 30 year old donor. The liver was split into 2 - one piece was given to Daniel, and the other was given to an adult patient.

"It's one in a million, you know. I can't ever remember having something like this happen. We were prepared to wait a few months—in fact at one point I think the plan was to evaluate one of the parents for donations," said surgeon Riccardo Superina.

Daniel's parents expressed sorrow for the donor's family as well as profound thanks. "This is a Christmas we'll never forget," says dad Daniel McCabe.

Source: Medindia

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