Transplant surgeon's daughter gets liver transplant after long wait

Transplant surgeon's daughter gets liver transplant after long wait

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Associated Press Writer

By JAMES MacPHEBy JAMES MacPHERSON

Early morning telephone calls to transplant surgeon Bhargav Mistry's home in Fargo are not uncommon. But a call about a donor organ last week was special: A liver had been found for his 11-year-old daughter, Karishma.

It was a call the Mistrys had been waiting for since October, when doctors informed the family that Karishma needed a new liver.

Karishma's liver was just weeks - perhaps days - away from giving out, said her mother, Bhanu Odedra-Mistry.

Bhargav Mistry is a native of India who performs about 50 organ transplants a year at Fargo's MeritCare Hospital. Odedra-Mistry also is a doctor at MeritCare.

The donor liver was at the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital, Fairview in Minneapolis. The liver was from a child who had died, who matched Karishma's blood type and weight.

The family made the four-hour drive to the hospital on Memorial Day. Bags had been packed previously, in anticipation.

Karishma was unfazed by the rush.

"My parents got a call about the liver. We got ready and left," she said.

"I don't believe she was scared," her mother said. "She has been on so many hospital trips."

Karishma suffers from a condition called biliary atresia, a disease that causes liver failure. She was born without a gall bladder.

Surgery began at about 11:30 p.m. on May 29, and was complete the next morning.

"I feel good," Karishma said Tuesday, from her hospital bed in Minneapolis. She looks forward to dancing, her favorite activity. But for now, she concentrates on walking with the help of a therapist.

"Her liver is functioning very well. She already is feeling a little better and has more energy than she had before," her mother said. "She is one strong little girl."

Karishma has a slight fever now but she could be out of the hospital by the weekend, doctors said.

She and her parents do not know the liver donor's name. But they are grateful.

"I was touched and really appreciate what the parents of this little boy or girl had to go through to make this decision of giving their child's organs for donation," Odedra-Mistry said. "In spite of their great loss, they've done a humble and great deed."

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