THINGS WERE going more smoothly the second time. But the child (15-month-old Sarina Jones) about to be opened surgically was far more malnourished by her liver disease than was the first US patient to undergo this historic living-donor liver transplant procedure.
While assistants closed up the incision in the child's father, Robert Jones, donor of the liver portion that subsequently was placed surgically in his daughter, surgeon Christoph E.
Broelsch, MD, fished half a cigar from the ashtray in his office. "At the moment I feel very safe," he said, adding that he is "proud to be working under profound ethical guidelines and on profound surgical ground."
It was "a bit of a surprise," he says, discovering during the first living, related liver donor transplant (into 22-month-old Alyssa Smith) a week earlier that "live liver is somewhat softer than anything else we've handled before." That made a usually easy-to-repair hematoma