Life and Death: Finding a Donor

In the preceding days, we had several conversations with Morrisey about it. We saw him the afternoon before surgery, spending time with his wife and brother, and one of the things he kept coming back to was his faith.

"I've been praying there would be a miracle and Steve recovers," he said. "There's risks involved for me. There is going to be a long recovery. There's going to be pain. Those are things I'd rather avoid. ... You know, two months from now, I should be OK, and he should be OK, and that's great."

Risky Procedure

Less than an hour after Dziemian's surgery began, Pomposelli emerged to tell Corey that the procedure had been effective.

Five weeks later, we looked in on Morrisey again. The doctors told him on a follow-up visit that the 40 percent remnant of his liver was growing back, and out in the world, was a man carrying a living piece of him.

Morrisey hates being called a hero. "I don't want to get at society — we're in trouble. Like, people say, 'If it was my son, or my daughter, I'd do it.' I don't know how people would make a call like that. 'Oh, it's somebody else? Let them go.' It's just crazy in my mind."

That same afternoon we checked in with Dziemian in — of all places — a shopping mall. His color was returning, and most important — he was going to live.

Dziemian — 23 weeks after the process of finding a new liver began — was conflicted over the effect it had had on Morrisey. "It is tough, because he was perfectly healthy. I hate to see anything go wrong with him, but even when he talks to me, and I've got a few little bumps since the hospital, I know he's really worried about how I'm doing."

Twenty-three weeks. That's what it took to save man's life. That, and a guy who doesn't think it had anything to do with being a hero.

For more information about live liver donation, visit the following Web site:

Lahey Clinic

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