On Valentine’s Day last year, I had the privilege of leading a 12-person team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, residents and nurses while a loving husband gave his wife part of his healthy liver to cure her from her liver cancer.
Liver disease affects all walks of life and the husband, Bryan Li, was a perfect match to proceed with a lifesaving surgery for his wife, Francine Meng. Without the gift of living liver donation from her husband, Francine Meng would have spent 18 months to two years waiting for an organ. She would have never gotten an offer and died from her cancer. As a loving wife, sister and mother of a young child, that was a risk she did not want to take.
Over the course of three meetings, the interdisciplinary team of social workers, independent donor advocate, and experienced transplant nurse practitioners spoke with the patient and husband about their options and they opted for living liver donation.
Bryan Li gave his wife, Francine Meng, part of his liver- the best Valentine’s gift probably in history. Today, both are alive and well and able to live their life with their young son.
NYU Langone has performed live liver transplants since the late 1990s and we have performed over 100 living related liver transplants. Over eight hours in the operating room and a dozen specialists, including Associate Transplant Director, Dr. Glyn Morgan, and transplant surgeons Dr. Bruce Gelb and Dr. Aaron Winnick, are critical to the success of the surgery.
I am proud that at NYULMC Transplant. We serve thousands of patients but our size is just right that we know each patient and their individual situation. It is not ironic that we care for our patients in the Mary Lea Johnson Richards Organ Transplantation Center- a health facility donated by the late Martin Richards – a loving gift from husband to honor his wife, Mary Lea. Bryan Li and Francine Meng are no different and I look forward to seeing them for years to come.