After doctors told Kathy Diehl she had hepatic steatosis ("fatty liver"), a hereditary liver condition, she never experienced any complications. She didn't think much of it, and spent the next four years looking ahead with her husband and growing family, enjoying her life as a new grandmother.
After becoming sick in 2014, Kathy's standard blood work revealed abnormal liver enzyme numbers that led to a disturbing diagnosis: She had cirrhosis of the liver--an irreversible, permanent condition that would ultimately lead to liver failure.
It was clear that Kathy's only chance at survival was through a liver transplant-- a daunting notion, as she knew that many patients died each year waiting for a life-saving organ from a deceased donor to become available.
Even though Kathy felt okay, her test results showed that her liver was rapidly deteriorating. Her hepatologist encouraged her to seek a Living Donor Liver Transplant: a surgical procedure that takes advantage of the liver's remarkable ability to regenerate.
She met with a Penn Transplant Coordinator. After testing, Kathy learned that her youngest daughter, Sarah, was the only family member who shared her blood type: A compatible match, she would be her mother's living donor.
On May 24, 2016, Kathy and Sarah successfully underwent their respective surgeries. Penn transplant surgeons removed Kathy’s failing liver and replacing it with the piece of transplanted liver from her daughter.
Both mother and daughter were discharged one week after surgery. They recovered together at their family's home. By September, Sarah returned to school in Rhode Island, and not long after, Kathy was back on her feet with a new liver and new outlook on life.
Living Donor Liver Transplantation was developed to help resolve the organ donor shortage and save lives. Penn Medicine performs more Living Donor Liver Transplants than any other hospitals in the region, and is one of the largest and most experienced liver transplant programs in the nation. Stop waiting and start living.
Request a Living Donor Liver Transplant consultation: http://bit.ly/2wDe8Ve
Learn more about Penn's Living Donor Liver Transplant program: http://bit.ly/2xoflPP