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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Finding Organ Donors Concealed in Plain Sight

THE NEW YORK TIMES | OPINION | David Bornstein

Second of two articles.

Last June, after it became clear that their 3-month-old son, Nathan, needed a liver transplant, Rob and Christina Whitehead of Mokena, Ill., created a Facebook page to tell his story. Word spread quickly. “More than a hundred people called our donor hotline,” recalled Talia B. Baker, director of the Living Donor Liver Transplant program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

In August, Nathan received a transplant. He’s had some complications, but nine months later, videos show him cruising happily with his walker.

Nathan’s case is not unique. “There have been several instances where people have posted a need for an organ for a baby or an adult and we’ve had a massive outpouring,” Baker said.

Only one of the candidates ended up donating, of course. That left Baker wondering whether the others would be willing to give to someone else. So she asked them. “Almost 100 percent said yes,” she said. Continue reading

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