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Stanford University School of Medicine

Family ties: One sister saves another with live liver donation

Organ transplantation is never simple, particularly when the procedure involves a living donor, and even more so when the transplant is being done on the liver. The liver is difficult to operate on, its consistency like that of wet tissue paper. There are also the added wrinkles: Among them, the living donor's liver must be partitioned just right and surgeons must control bleeding in an organ that's rich with blood vessels.

So, it's not surprising that Stanford patient Judith Lattin, despite years of suffering from liver failure, was not thrilled at the idea of her younger sister donating a portion of her liver to save Lattin. It's the role of a big sister to ensure that her little sister stay out of harm's way, and Lattin had concerns about her sister, Christine Webb, undergoing such a risky and rare procedure. (Only a handful of hospitals in the U.S. even do the surgery.) In fact, when Webb first volunteered to help save her sister's life, Lattin said "no."

As you'll see in the video below, Lattin put her faith in her sister's decision and in her transplant team. The procedure was successful, returning Lattin to health and bringing the two sisters closer than they thought they'd ever be.

Lattin and Webb's full story can also be found on Stanford Hospital's website.

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