Following the news of Cleveland Clinic’s Weston Hospital’s first living donor liver transplant, GO! Latino secured an exclusive interview with daughter Heidy Lima, who donated a portion of her liver, and mother Iris Blanco, the liver recipient. Blanco had been battling chronic liver disease for years, and it was through the selfless act of her daughter, Lima, that she is now able to live a longer, healthier life.
With this new lease on life, Blanco said, “She is an angel from Heaven. Now that I have a healthier body, my goals for the rest of my life are to be healthy and to enjoy retirement.” To this end, Lima said, “It is a wonderful feeling to be able to give the gift of life to your mother or father, or another loved one. Have faith in God; he will guide you as he did with me.”
On May 10, 2021, Cristiano Quintini, M.D., Samer Ebaid, M.D., Ph.D., and Phoenix Vuong, M.D., removed 60 percent of the right lobe of Lima’s liver. Koji Hashimoto, M.D., Ph.D., Antonio Pinna, M.D., and Sidharth Sharma, M.D., successfully transplanted the donated portion of Lima’s liver to Blanco.
Lima said, “The doctors and staff gave me the confidence and support I needed while going under evaluation. They were very detailed with the testing to make sure I was healthy enough to perform the surgery, and it gave me a lot of security and comfort.
I would like to give my gratitude to everyone for everything they did for me and my mother. Their care and support were phenomenal.”
Following on from Lima’s praise of the doctors and staff, Blanco said, “I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals over the years and I must say this was the best. The nurses, doctors, technologists, and food service people were all top-notch. They saved my life.”
Now in recovery, Lima said that recuperation was going very well. “I am feeling better and better as the days go by.
I am getting lots of rest, eating healthy foods, consuming lots of fluids and vitamins, and I do daily 30-minutes walks. Once my liver has grown back to its normal size and completely recovered, I will be able to resume my normal life.” Blanco too revealed that she is getting better every day. Blanco said, “Some days are better than others, but I am moving forward. I follow the directions of the doctors and take my medicines. I eat healthy and exercise and things should get back to pretty much normal.”
Dr. Pinna said, “Living-donor transplants help save the lives of people with end-stage liver disease and increases the number of livers for patients on the transplant waiting list. Living liver donation is the ultimate gift of life.
It is both gratifying and humbling to play a role in a daughter donating a piece of her liver to her very ill mother with liver failure.”
Lima concluded, “I truly encourage people to make this life-changing decision to become an organ donor. Not many people are aware that they can donate part of their liver and that it will grow back for the recipient and donor to 100%.”
Haz clic para leer en Español: Dar más vida a un ser querido, Hija dona una porción de su hígado a su madre