Special Father’s Day Ahead For Dad Who Gave Son An Organ To Beat Illness

CBS PHILLY | Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Father’s Day is approaching and families are celebrating all kinds of traditions to honor dads. One special dad gave his son the gift of life, twice.

Jacob Ortiz and his dad are regulars on the playground, but just six months ago, the 2-year-old was deathly ill. “We were very scared. It was a very dark time in our lives,” said Jacob’s father Jose Ortiz.

Jacob was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a rare liver disease. “The bile ducts don’t form properly. There’s no way for bile to get out of the liver and the liver becomes diseased and ultimately fails,” explained Dr. Sander Florman.

After several unsuccessful treatments, doctors said Jacob urgently needed a new liver, but an organ his own size, rarely becomes available. So, Jacob’s dad gave him a piece of his liver. “When you see your child in need, you want to do what you can to help out as much as possible,” Jose said.

Doctors removed about 25 percent of Jose’s liver and gave it to his son. That piece of liver will regenerate and grow along with Jacob for the rest of his life. Continue reading

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