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One Liver Saves Two Lives

One Liver Saves Two Lives


On the same day this past June, a West Plains, Mo., toddler named Gloriella Adier had a liver transplant at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and an Eddyville, Ill., woman named Synthia Hansen had a liver transplant at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. 

The life-saving transplants for both of them actually came from the same liver.

The split liver procedure resulted in Hansen receiving two-thirds of the donated adult liver and Gloriella receiving the remaining one-third.

“The stars have to align,” William Chapman, MD, surgical director of the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center and at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, explained to KSDK NewsChannel 5’s Anne Allred. 

Performed only 17 times in the last two years at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's Hospital, a split liver transplant requires that the liver not only be suitable for splitting, but also needs to be able to regenerate. The adult also has to be small in stature because he or she only gets two-thirds of the donated liver.

Gloriella and Hansen met for the first time three months after their successful transplants, with their medical teams in attendance. Now, two strangers from different states not only share a liver, but also a bond through friendship. 

Watch the happy reunion.

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