Daughter Gives Mother Gift Of Life
Resident To Have Liver Transplant
By John C. McLoughlin
Doctors told Susana Ward that she would not live past 40 years old. In December of 1995, the Arverne resident was diagnosed with a life threatening liver disease known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), a hardening of the bile ducts. Affecting three out of every 100,000 people, Ward’s life and future depended all upon one thing -- a liver transplant.
After five years of being on the liver transplant list, Ward’s future seems a little brighter these days, as she is scheduled for a liver transplant on Monday, May 22. This day comes after five years of pain and struggles. In and out of hospitals since 1995, Ward has suffered symptoms like jaundice, itching, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, anemia, lethargy, cirrhosis, and weight loss. She has undergone countless amounts of x-rays, endoscopies and colonoscopies, went through a blood transfusion, and takes medication several times a day.
In October 1999 Ward received some hope from doctors at Mount Sinai’s Liver Transplantation Program. They told her about the Living Donor Program, which is her only hope of beating this disease.
This coming Monday, Ward’s second chance at life is being given by her daughter, Yamil Forbes. The 25-year-old meets the criteria of the same blood type and organ size. The procedure of the surgery is that 60 percent of Forbes’ liver will be used to replace Ward’s damaged liver. After approximately six and a half weeks, each half will grow back to its normal size. One major complication to the procedure is that Ward’s body could reject the foreign liver, but there is medication to prevent such a thing.
Ward is asking the community for their prayers and thoughts during this time. "Family, friends and co-workers have been praying for us from the beginning of this ordeal," Ward said. "My strength and faith comes from the Lord above and we are hoping that everything is going to be alright."