After liver transplant, Broomall woman aims for nursing career


RADNOR >> When you look at Leanne Purcell, you would never believe that a year ago she was fighting for her life. Last year she needed a liver transplant. Today she is a vibrant young woman in her freshman year at Villanova University fulfilling her dream of becoming a nurse.

The Broomall resident had no clue her liver was failing until last summer.

“Last summer I was on the beach and my stomach started hurting. I thought it was a stomach bug. My stomach blew up. I felt tired all the time. It went on for two or three weeks. My dad said we should get it checked out. We went to Bryn Mawr Hospital where they ran tests. They didn’t know what exactly was wrong with my liver so I went to DuPont Children’s Hospital where they specialize in liver diseases. On Wednesday, my doctor said that I had Wilson’s disease. My liver was failing for the past few years. I have a video of what it looked like when they took it out. It was triple the size of what it should be,” said Purcell.

Wilson’s disease is a rare inherited disorder that causes too much copper to accumulate in the liver, brain and other vital organs. Too much copper in the liver caused Purcell’s liver to fail. At first the doctors believed that they could treat her with medications but then after running more tests they realized that she needed a liver transplant as soon as possible. Continue reading
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