Welcome to Chopped Liver!
Welcome, friends, to Chopped Liver, my new blog about my quest to become a liver donor for my brother, who is suffering from Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. After pressure from my techno-savvy friends, I'm venturing into blog territory for the first time. The entries will get much shorter once I've caught everyone up to date. Hope you enjoy!
Last Thursday, I spent the day in the organ transplant unit of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, which not only boasts one of the top ten liver transplant teams in the country, but also is where Joe is serving his medical residency. This was my official “work up,” the process by which I am officially accepted or rejected as a donor. Only one person at a time goes through this: If they accept me, I’m “The One,” and the surgery will be scheduled as soon as possible. They drew 17 vials of blood and did an MRI, which will be used to assess whether I’m physically healthy enough and anatomically matched well enough to donate. I also met with a psychiatrist, who (bless him) determined that I am not certifiably insane, and had a complete physical with a non-transplant-team MD.
They'll need to determine whether there are any factors that would keep me from donating, such as:
- a liver of insufficient volume
- a liver that has an abnormal right lobe/left lobe split (i.e. 70/30% instead of the normal 40/60%)
- anatomically inconvenient placement and size of the ducts, veins, and arteries flowing into, out of, and through each lobe
- any blood-borne diseases, cancerous growths, etc.
If I clear all these hurdles, we'll schedule the surgery. I should get results by Thanksgiving. Stay tuned!