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Navy Hospital Corpsman Offers Lifesaving Gift to His Mother
Headlines | January 01, 2020
by Duy Nguyen
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Tyler's mother needed a liver and her son never hesitated. He is a hospital corpsman in the Navy and was granted a leave of absence so he could return home and be her donor.

"I love my mom a lot. There was no question," he stated emphatically.

Tyler says he had the wonderful opportunity so many little boys dream of, protecting their mom. He told his mother, "I'm sure I'm you're match." And it turned out he was correct. He was a perfect match.

In November, Tyler gave his mother a portion of his liver at the James D. Eason Transplant Institute at Methodist University Hospital in partnership with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

"There is a great need for living liver donors," said James Eason, MD, program director of the James D. Eason Transplant Institute. "We have over 100 people on our local waiting list for a liver, and nationally, nearly 13,000 people need a new liver."

Dr. Eason says 10 percent of liver patients who are on waiting lists die each year, and more living liver donors could dramatically reduce that number.

"The remarkable thing about the liver is that it regenerates," explained Dr. Eason. "That means the liver in the recipient will grow to a full size liver and the liver in the donor will also return to its original size. It takes the liver about six weeks to grow to a full size liver."

The James D. Eason Transplant Institute provides the only living liver donor program in the Mid-South, and the second largest living liver donor program in the Southeast. "Because the region we are assigned to is so small, we only have access to 50 livers a year and that is not enough for everyone who needs a new liver," said Dr. Eason. "Living liver donors are the only way we can meet the need for those who need a liver transplant."

The Transplant Institute performed 281 transplants in 2018. To learn more about being a living liver donor click here or call 901.478.2804.

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