A Different Kind of Donor: Two Lives Saved, None Lost

06.01.2012

My sister didn't want me to be in harm's way, but I didn't want her to have to wait. I wanted to help her.

-Christine Webb, living donor, Stanford Hospital & Clinics liver transplant program

Every step of liver transplant has been developed at Stanford to be protective of the donor and recipient. That includes post-transplant care. Lattin sees her Stanford care team for regular check-ups.

Judith Lattin's life had become a very dark landscape. What she thought was a simple case of stress-induced intestinal trouble in her 20s had been the beginning of the end of her liver.

I saved my sister but I also saved the person who will now get the deceased donor liver she won't need.

-Christine Webb, living donor, Stanford Hospital & Clinics liver transplant program

Daily walks in her neighborhood are now a way of life for Lattin. "I have just so much more of a joy for life. I waited nine years for a transplant and I didn't realize just how much I had declined."

HOW TO KEEP YOUR LIVER HEALTHY

• One increase in diagnosis that has disturbed hepatologists is fatty liver disease. As rates of obesity have risen, so has that illness. Maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise are two of the first recommendations for protecting your liver.

• Avoid heavy alcohol consumption.

• Certain over-the-counter medications, taken in large doses, can stress the liver. Talk to your physician about how to be safe.

• Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B. Hepatitis can cause serious and permanent liver damage.

• Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet and keep high-fat foods to a minimum.

• Ask your doctor about a liver function evaluation. Based on your health history, it might be appropriate.

When to See Your Doctor

• Fatigue, skin irritation, nausea and abdominal pain

• Darkened urine

• Increase in abdominal girth

• Yellowing skin and eyes

For more information about live liver transplant program at Stanford, please call 650-498-7878 or visit stanfordhospital.org/livertransplant.

About Stanford Health Care

Stanford Health Care seeks to heal humanity through science and compassion, one patient at a time, through its commitment to care, educate and discover. Stanford Health Care delivers clinical innovation across its inpatient services, specialty health centers, physician offices, virtual care offerings and health plan programs.

Stanford Health Care is part of Stanford Medicine, a leading academic health system that includes the Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, and Stanford Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Stanford Medicine is renowned for breakthroughs in treating cancer, heart disease, brain disorders and surgical and medical conditions. For more information, visit: www.stanfordhealthcare.org.

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