Mom donates liver to save her son's life - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mom donates liver to save her son's life

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - Luke Tanner is only 15 months old, but has already been through a lot. Luke's mom knew something wasn't right when her fifth child was only six months old. As it turns out, Luke's liver didn't develop normally and he needed a new one.

They waited four months for a match that never came. The only option left was a live donor - Luke's mom.

Dr. Ajai Khanna says there were actually two surgeries going on at once - one with Leah and the other with Luke - both timed perfectly to make sure everything went off without a problem.

"We have two sets of teams, two sets of anesthesiologists, two sets of surgeons," Dr. Khanna said.

Dr. Khanna knew right away the surgery went well. Luke's mom says it was obvious.

"The day after the surgery, he was pink again and the day previous to that he was yellow, gray, getting a dark tone. Dr. Khanna said he didn't have many hours left," Leah said.

It's now been three months since the surgeries and Luke is progressing well, growing, gaining weight, and doctors say he should have no further problems.

In fact, the only sign now there even was a surgery?

"We have matching scars, but that's nothing," Leah said.

Doctors say around 500 liver transplants are performed every year in the U.S., with long lists of patients waiting for a new one. They hope Luke's story will convince more people to donate organs.

"What a gift of life, whether it's coming from a live donor like Leah or someone who has died and the family has graciously decided to donate a loved one's organs. It can make a difference in a patient who's ailing and could actually die," Dr. Khanna said.


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