Woman donates liver lobe to young cousin

WiscNews | Amanda Lutey

SUBMITTED Erika Griffith, left, poses with her cousin Ellie Homan, who turns three next month. In May, Griffith donated a lobe of her liver to Ellie, who was diagnosed with a genetic liver disease when she was six months old.

Some gifts are priceless.

Erika Griffith gave her young cousin Ellie Homan such a gift by becoming a living organ donor.

In May, Griffith, 22, underwent a transplant surgery, donating a lobe of her liver to Ellie, who will turn 3, Aug. 18.

Ellie, the daughter of Tim and Katie Homan of Pardeeville, has a genetic liver disease - progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis. Her mother said they first learned something was wrong at Ellie’s six-month checkup in February 2013. Ellie was not growing and her liver functions were off. Testing resulted in a diagnosis of PFIC2, one of three forms of the disorder.

Katie Homan said Ellie’s doctors tried other treatments first, but they knew right away a transplant was in Ellie’s future.

“We knew it was not an ‘if’ but a ‘when,’” Homan said. “We were so glad we got two years out of the other treatments.” Continue reading