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My 37 yr old son will need a liver, I’m 64 could I be a good candidate as a live donor?
Mayo’s cutoff for living liver donors is 60. This page on the UNOS website might be a good resource for you and your son: https://www.unos.org/donation/living-donation/
Welcome to Connect @ellgi, I’d like to introduce you to other members who shared their liver transplant. experiences (both recipients and donors). You may appreciate reading the messages on this thread. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/liver-transplant-for-primary-biliary-cirrhosis-pbc/
I’m also tagging @rosemarya @wmoser2613 to join the discussion here. They both have had a liver transplant. @coastalgirl received a kidney transplant from a living donor and @uneeq1 is a living kidney donor.
@ellgi, I’m sure you have many questions as your son prepares for needing a liver transplant. Sharing with people who have been there can help. Is your son currently on a transplant list?
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My son is not yet on the list as he needs 6 month sobriety. to get there. I understand this requirement. Im not sure he can last lo enough to meet that requirement. If he is advanced stages of cirrhosis would that mean he cannot do with receiving a partial liver? I mean can a patient with late stage cirrhosis benefit from a live donor, since only pat of liver is given, as opposed to a whole liver from a cadaver
what does this mean…Portal venous hypertension
“Portal hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure in the portal vein (the large vein that brings blood from the intestine to the liver) and its branches.” You can read more about this on Merck Manual website http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/liver-and-gallbladder-disorders/manifestations-of-liver-disease/portal-hypertension
We took your questions to Dr. Sanchez, a transplant hepatologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He explains:
“Many patients can benefit from living donor transplantation, regardless of the underlying cause of their liver disease. Whether or not living donor liver transplant is appropriate for any particular patient is an individualized decision based on specific patient factors.
For a patient with alcoholic cirrhosis, sobriety and taking part in a chemical dependency treatment program is essential prior to liver transplantation. This applies to patients regardless of the source of the transplant. In other words, the requirements to move forward with a transplant are the same for deceased and living donor transplants. Some patients may have enough improvement in their liver function by abstaining from alcohol that they can avoid transplant. Patients who are able to show prolonged abstinence, usually have long-term sobriety after transplant.
A patient’s medical status is carefully monitored while participating in chemical dependency treatment to make sure they are stable. Changes in their medical status are reported to the transplant team and may prompt re-assessment.”
I hope that you are holding up to the challenge that you are facing as a mother. I want to share the following with you, in case your son is interested in hearing it.
I was talking to my son who is 37. He told me of his friend, 36, who had been hiding a very severe alcohol addiction. I’ll shorten a long story. He was facing severe health issues and possible liver failure; but was was not eligible for a transplant.. He went thru a successful rehab program. And began healthy lifestyle. He does not need a liver transplant, now. I know it sounds like a story book, but it is possible to turn around liver damage with life style changes. He now counsels others who have alcohol addiction.
Tell him, for me, that I wish the best for him.
Thank you. It is the hope. I honestly am not feeling hopeful. My sister passed when she turned 40 of liver failure. This feels like reruns. However harder as a mom as opposed to being a sister. I will share your reply
I appreciate this information. Can late stage cirrhosis have the improvement potential you mention?
I can tell you from personal experience that diet and lifestyle changes canreverse some liver issues.
I have a friend that was able to do so. It takes determination and astrong dedication but finding the right combination for you could be lifechanging!!
Good luck on your journey to health!!
Only a transplant facility can give you proof positive of your ability to be a donor. But just based on your age, and this is only a layperson’s observation who is also a kidney recipient, that would not automatically disqualify you.
There are a whole host of tests the recipient and the donor must go through to make this determination.
Stay strong and vigilant in efforts and encourage your son to work with a liver nutritionist, acupuncturist, and any other holistic means that can improve his situation.
Best wishes on your journey!!
O my goodness. I am so sorry for the loss of your sister. I lost my brother 2 years ago. I feel your pain. Please accept my condolences.
I can tell that you are a strong loving sis and mom. Your son is fortunate to have you there.
Let me share that I, too, had close loved one who was dealing with an alcohol problem during my time of liver failure and transplant. I remember the fear and tension that lived inside of me. And sometimes made hope hard to feel. One thing that helped me in seemingly hopeless times, was to look for one positive thing each day. And to celebrate that in my heart. Each night I could recall that one bright moment and feel peace and hope. ( I am a prayerful person, so for me, that provided my strength each day) many times, on my darkest days, even the blessings were numerous.
I encourage you to take care of yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually.
I am keeping you in my thoughts. You are not alone.
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