Her obstetrician father brought her into the world. Last month she saved his life.

Wayne Cooper and his daughter, Patricia Cooper, walk in his backyard in McLean, Va. Both are recovering from surgeries: In late December, Patricia gave her father a piece of her liver to help save his life. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)
Patricia Cooper’s father was sliding toward death more quickly than anyone had anticipated. His only hope of surviving liver disease was a transplant, which his doctors agreed was all but a fantasy. In a nation with a severe shortage of donor livers, Wayne Cooper was too far down the list to have any chance of receiving one.

At his home in McLean, Va., the 70-year-old was losing weight quickly. He slept all day. Patricia, an immigration attorney in Miami, called frequently. “He was too tired to hold the phone,” she said.

On Dec. 5, Patricia donated more than half her liver to her father, an obstetrician who 34 years earlier had personally brought her into this world.

“It wasn’t even a choice. It’s my dad. Of course I’m going to do this,” she said. “I knew the mental anguish of him dying and me thinking I could have done something to save his life was going to be worse than any physical pain.” Continue reading

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