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.

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