Women doing well after 14-hour liver transplant

Posted April 28, 2010, at 6:44 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:45 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Two Maine Coast Memorial Hospital employees were doing well after liver surgery in Connecticut on Monday.

Jan Watson of Surry, a registered nurse at the hospital, and Deb Hubbard of Cherryfield, the hospital’s information systems Help Desk coordinator, underwent surgery at Yale Medical Center in New Haven, Conn.

The 14-hour surgery involved the transplant of a portion of Hubbard’s healthy liver to replace Watson’s.

“They’re both doing really well,” MCMH spokeswoman Jane Sanderson said Wednesday. “Even better than expected.”

Family members kept workers updated by text messages during the surgery and are providing regular updates on a website set up for Watson. They reported Tuesday that “they are both doing outstanding.”

Watson, 46, 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.

Hubbard is donating 60 percent of her liver to Watson. Each piece of the liver is expected to grow to full size after the surgery.

The surgery had been scheduled for March 16, but was postponed when doctors at Yale Medical Center wanted additional testing.

Both women face a lengthy recovery in Connecticut and back in Maine.

Update information is available online at www.caringbridge.org/visit/janwatson.