One Donated Liver, Two Young Lives Saved

Patients receive rare split liver transplant at same hospital

By Marcus Riley
|  Thursday, Dec 24, 2009  |  Updated 3:18 PM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Goodbye, "ER" : Scenes From the Final Episode

Rich Hein/Chicago Sun-Times

Christian Liberto was No. 86 on the donor transplant list, but was bumped up after the 85 patients in front of him weren't eligible for a partial organ.

advertisement
Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

Christmas came early this year for two patients at Children's Memorial Hospital, both recipients of a split liver transplant.

A split liver transplant is a rare procedure where two patients receive a piece of the donor organ.

Highland Park's Christian Liberto, 17, and 2-year-old Frank Sroka of Bridgeport were both in need of a transplant, and were simultaneously operated on last Friday when a donor organ became available, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

But what makes the operations even more remarkable was that Frank was No. 1 on the donor list and Christian was No. 86, but when the 85 individuals in front of him were not eligible to receive a partial organ, his turn came up.

Doctors call it a "perfect storm," but Christian's mother calls is a "Christmas miracle."

Christian suffers from primary sclerosing cholangitis, the same disease that killed Chicago Bear great Walter Payton. He'll head home in about a week while Frank, who suffers from the fatal liver disease biliary atresia, will have to stay longer, the Sun-Times reported.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our Weather App
Stay ahead of the storm with the NBC... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out