A son who donated part of his liver to his mother, say’s that now he is off the hook for Mother’s Day.
A Utah woman was declared hepatitis free after she got a lifesaving piece of her son’s liver in a transplant.
Gwen Finlayson said, “I feel like we are gaining ground every day. Starting to hope and dream and thinking about the future.”
Gwen, a 63-year-old mom of four, was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis way back in 1991.
The condition is caused by the body’s immune system turning against the liver cells.
Doctors told her that she would need a liver transplant in a few years, but that got extended to more than two decades.
She said that she would go to the hospital and stay and that her health was getting really bad.
She was put on the national transplant list last year, but it looked like she would not be getting the organ anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Brandon, her son, was a perfect match and volunteered to be her donor.
But mom did not want to put him at risk as he had five kids of his own.
“She pretty much shut us down and said, ‘No, it’s not a possibility. I don’t even want to talk about it,’ ” Brandon, 37, said. “It took days to get her to finally even think about the idea. A lot of convincing.”
When the surgery took place in February, it was the very first time when Utah doctors transplanted the left lobe of a living donor’s liver.
They took scans of Brandon’s liver and used it to make a 3-D printed model, so that they could plan and practice the complicated procedure.
“Normally we take the right lobe and take about 60 percent of the healthy liver from the donor to give to the recipient,” said Dr. Manuel Rodriguez-Davalos in a statement. “That said, with the use of current 3-D imaging and 3-D printing technology we can perform precision liver surgery and obtain a left lobe graft which gives safer and faster recovery for the donor with equal or improved outcomes for Mom.”
Doctors at Intermountain Medical Center, in Murray, Utah, said that Gwen and Brandon’s livers would be able to regenerate and grow to around 90% of normal size within a few months.
Mother and son are recovering well after the surgery.
Gwen says, that she is looking forward with hope for the future instead of asking how sick she would be by then, she is looking forward with joy and optimism and making plans for what to do in the future.
She is walking five miles a day and says she has more energy now than in the past.
Gwen is all praise for her son, as she says, that she feels grateful that he would be a person who would risk his life for another human being, she describes him as her hero.