Family seeking liver donor for sick son
Apr 18, 2013 | 981 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To the Editor,

Jan and Bob Galati are on a desperate mission to find their son Michael Galati a live liver donor. Michael has shown much courage as he fights though fatigue each day to live as best he can. His team of doctors tells us that he is a very sick individual and he is getting sicker every day. A live liver transplant is common treatment for patients with Michael’s liver disease. Medical science has developed the procedure in which a portion of one person’s healthy liver can replace another person’s diseased liver and both donor and recipient can lead normal lives. The liver is an amazing organ; both sections will grow to full size very quickly and resume normal functioning. However, it is a tough task to find a matching donor as only 15-20 of donors are an exact match. Matthew, Michael’s brother, recently completed an evaluation at Yale; unfortunately, he is not a match due to the anatomy of his liver. We have much faith in Michael’s transplant surgeon, Dr. Emre, who is a world-renowned surgeon whose picture has appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Please help us find a donor for Michael.

Michael was first impacted by liver disease symptoms such as jaundice, weight loss, and extreme fatigue in grade nine. For a period of time Michael enjoyed normal health. But at age 30 the extreme fatigue returned, his health declined, and blood test results indicated an incurable disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis. Liver diseases are sneaky. Sufferers can appear normal while the disease erodes the liver and biliary tracts causing stress and damage to associated parts of the body. To outsiders, Michael appeared to lead a normal life, while every day fatigue sapped his energies and compromised his life.

The doctors told us that Michael needs a new liver now. Primary sclerosing cholangitis, or PSC, is a disease that can quickly and very dramatically change Michael’s health status. A major concern for Michael is choledoch carcinoma. This “common bile duct cancer” has a high occurrence rate with PSC patients particularly when their MELD (model end stage liver disease) score is above 15. Michael’s score is presently at 17. If the doctors were to discover cancer in his liver, Michael would be disqualified from ever receiving a live liver. Once he is no longer a candidate for a live liver transplant, his other option would be a cadaver liver. However, PSC does not mesh well with the MELD ranking system used for cadaver allocations. Although Michael is quite ill, his MELD score remains low. By the time his MELD score is high enough, he will be within days of death. You can help by forwarding this to as many people as possible because Michael needs a live liver now. Therefore, the need for a live liver donor is urgent.

To find out more about being a living donor, individuals can call the Yale Transplantation Center at (866) 925-3897. The initial call can simply serve as a fact-finding mission with no obligation or can be an initial screening.

It is important to note that Michael’s health insurance plan covers every cost for the donor and we will find a way to cover lost wages, transportation, and any other expenses. Also, potential donors must be between ages 18 to 55, in good health, and not be obese or have a history of ongoing infections, drug or alcohol abuse. Yale will protect the anonymity of all prospective donors.

I am asking help from anyone who can assist my cousin in his dire need. Please contact his parents, Jan and Bob Galati, Southington, CT. They can be reached at (860) 628-0279 or rg2331@cox.net.

Gale Galati Stachelek

Wilmington
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