UMC Performs 1st Liver Transplant in 22 YearsBy Daniel Cherry | Published 14 Mar 2013 04:58pm |
Karen Battle and her doctors speak about the liver transplant
Doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical Center have performed the first liver transplant in the state in 22 years. Mississippians in need of a new liver can now get treatment closer to home.
Doctors say Karen Battle, a resident of Jackson, was near death before they successfully transplanted her new liver. Now Battle is glad to have a new lease on life.
"Oh my gosh if it weren't for the donor and the donor's family giving up a precious gift, I wouldn't be here. If I would have had to traveled I don't think I would have made it. I would have died."
The University of Mississippi Medical Center is the only transplant facility in the state, but until recently, liver transplant patients had to go to hospitals outside Mississippi for the operation. Dr. Chris Anderson was recruited to UMC specifically to revive the liver transplant program.
"Our goal is to meet the needs of the state, and people that need treatment in the state can come here and get the same level of care they can get anywhere else."
Dr. Anderson estimates there are between 50 and 60 Mississippians in need of liver transplants each year. Many of whom aren't receiving treatment at all. Hospital officials hope having a liver transplant center in the capital city will allow greater access to care and save lives.
Kevin Stump, CEO of the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, says with a new facility in the state the need is greater than ever for Mississippians to sign up to be organ donors.
"People of Mississippi have long been very generous and giving of organs and tissue and donation, but they need to keep it up. It's a huge thing. What better way than as your last act on earth is that you helped save multiple lives?"
Doctors at UMC say they could perform more than a dozen liver transplants this year.
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