On August 22nd we arrived at Mayo clinic for pre-testing for liver transplant scheduled for August 25th. August 23rd Kate and Aaron (our son) arrived for pre-testing with Aaron as the live liver donor. Aaron qualified by having compatible blood type and body size. DJ has a liver disease called Primary Schlerosing Choliangitis. With PSC the liver ducts become strictured causing the toxic bile produced by the liver to back up into the actual liver cells. Over time, this causes the liver to become scarred (or schlerosed). DJ has been diagnosed for over 20 years, but in the last two years has had some serious problems. The only treatment for PSC is liver transplant. August 25th we (Aaron&Kate, Claudia & DJ) walked to Eisenberg transplant surgery center at 5:30am to check in for surgery. Aaron's surgery began at 8:35am, and DJ at 10:02am. Aaron went to recovery at 12:30pm, DJ at 2:20pm. There were two surgical teams, one for each. They removed 60% of Aaron's healthy liver and then opened up DJ to remove his liver and replace with the healthy liver. After surgery and recovery they both went to transplant ICU, and doctor's from both teams visited with us. Dr.H (DJ's surgeon) said everything went fine, but the liver was "UGLY". She said it was shrunken in some places, and swollen in others. It was time for the liver to come out. They also took out 4 liters of fluid from his chest cavity. Aaron's surgeon (Dr. Rosen) said everything went perfectly and Aaron was up walking around by 7pm (much to the delight and surprise of everyone). Kate and I stayed on the ICU floor until almost 9pm on the 25th.
August 26th: By evening Aaron was rid of most of his IVs and was eating meals. DJ looked chipper in the am when we came to visit. He looked really good (clearer eyes, less swollen ankles, breathing better because of loss of all the chest fluid). DJ was enjoying popsicles and harassing all the great nurses. DJ had soup for supper and Aaron had cod fish and more. And walked over to visit DJ with his walking podium. DJ sat up and moved to a chair by evening.
During all this time, Kate is here in Rochester with Aaron as his caregiver, and she goes back to Marshfield Mass. on Sunday to be with their children. Ruth flew to Marshfield on Aug 22 to take care of Archie and Ruthie, and she will fly back to Chicago on Aug. 29th. David will come here on Saturday, 27th, to take over when Kate leaves. Lyz will pick up the baton when Dave leaves, and be Aaron's caregiver until he flies home to Marshfield on Sept. 3.
DJ and I want to thank our children for making this event possible, especially Aaron for donating part of his liver in order to prolong DJ's life. His compassion and caring in doing this is something we will always cherish and remember. I also want to thank other family members and friends for all of their support and prayers. We will keep you posted.