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Dad donates half of liver to son

Mar 10, 2011 6:25pm
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(NECN: Kenneth Craig, Worcester, MA) - Today, Tristan Theerman is a happy, healthy nine month-old baby boy. But just two months ago, the smiling infant was battling severe liver disease and without a transplant his days were numbered.

"He was the highest on the list he could be. He had the highest rating under the listing system and even with that he was not getting an offer in the time frame were were comfortable with," his father Jeremy Theerman said.

It was then that Jeremy and Caroline Theerman of Worcester, Massachusetts decided to take a big risk. Jeremy would do the only thing he could to save his son's life: giving up half of his liver to donate to his son. It's called a Live Liver Transplant and it's risky.  There was a 20 percent chance Tristan wouldn't survive the surgery.

"I was focused on the 80 percent and just really telling myself this is the only thing that can help him at this point," said Tristan's mother Caoline Theerman.

The surgery was done just after Christmas by doctors at Children's Hospital and Lahey Clinic. Lahey does more of the adult liver transplantations than any other hospital in the nation.

"It's high risk, high reward," said Denise Morin, Senior Transplant Coordinator at Lahey Clinic. "We have a mother with her first baby with an acute illness and now we have to take her husband."

There is a lot that could have gone wrong, but this is a story with a happy ending. The surgery was a success, both Dad and Son made a full recovery and today they're feeling great.

"So happy that he's doing so well and Jeremy is doing so well it's just a very positive outcome."
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