ELLSWORTH, Maine — Two women who work at the local hospital, one of whom is giving part of her liver to the other, are scheduled to undergo the procedure next week, according to a hospital official.
The woman receiving the liver, Jan Watson of Surry, suffers from a rare hereditary disease that affects the functions of the blood vessels, causing too much blood to be pumped to her heart. It has resulted in heart failure and stomach pain from digestive problems that required the insertion of a feeding tube. Watson, 46, is a registered nurse at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital.
Watson’s co-worker, Deb Hubbard of Cherryfield, is donating 60 percent of her liver to Watson. Each piece of the liver is expected to grow to full size after the surgery, according to hospital spokeswoman Jane Sanderson. Hubbard is the hospital’s information systems Help Desk coordinator.
The surgery had been scheduled for March 16 at Yale Medical Center in New Haven, Conn., but was postponed for more testing. The surgery now is scheduled for Monday, April 26, Sanderson said.
The surgery is expected to take more than 10 hours for each woman. Hubbard’s recovery is expected to take one to two months, while Watson will remain in Connecticut for at least three months after the surgery, according to hospital officials.
Sanderson said the experience has been a roller coaster for Watson and Hubbard, and their co-workers at MCMH.
“They are emotionally ready for it,” Sanderson said of the surgery. “We’re looking forward to it being over and having both of them healthy. We’ll be following it closely, and we’ll keep folks informed.”