Son gives part of liver to save his dad

John Barnes with his youngest son Brian, when the latter was just a toddler.

CNN) — Parents give of themselves so their children can live. Michigan resident John Barnes’ son returned the favor.

Barnes had cirrhosis of the liver, and he needed a transplant to survive. His name went on a list with about 17,000 patients, each one desperately waiting for a donated liver. The grim statistic is that 1,500 people die each year waiting. There are just not enough donors.

He hated the thought that someone would have to die in order for him to get a liver.

“How could anyone wish for that to happen?” he asked.

But there was another way.

Barnes’ doctors told him that a healthy liver segment could regenerate into a full organ. If a living donor shared just part of a liver, both the donor and the recipient could end up whole and healthy. Continue reading
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