Rare domino liver transplant saves two lives
"The 52-year-old suffered from a rare genetic disease, familial amyloid polyneuropathy, that caused her liver to produce a protein that travels to other organs and sickens them. She had a stroke after the protein had begun to deposit in her heart, and she also had trouble walking.
?Dzielski underwent a lifesaving liver transplant in October. And although her old liver threatened her life, in the end it saved someone else's.
"During a nearly five-hour procedure at the University of Maryland Medical Center called a domino liver transplant, Dzielski received a liver from a deceased organ donor and then gave her liver to an Owings Mills woman.
"Other than the protein defect, Dzielski's liver was healthy, so it could be transplanted into someone else. But it needed to be an older person who likely wouldn't live long enough for the symptoms of familial amyloid polyneuropathy to appear. It typically takes years for the disease to show, which is why Dzielski didn't have problems until her 50s. In domino procedures, these livers are given to people at least 60 years of age."