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Lucas Goeller, a local 2-year-old boy with end-stage liver disease, has received a donated liver during a transplant surgery that began Wednesday night and was completed just before 7 a.m. Thursday.
Lucas spent more than 18 months waiting for a life-saving transplant, receiving treatment at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He and his family returned to Pittsburgh Wednesday after having traveled to Cincinnati, where they were getting Lucas placed on another transplant list.
A message posted on the Save Lucas Facebook page at 7 a.m. Thursday said the donor liver had been transplanted and the surgery went well. It also said Lucas was in stable condition.
Another child receiving an organ from the same donor was also in surgery Thursday morning.
The offer for the life-saving donation came Tuesday, and while the liver is of a different blood type, doctors said a successful transplant is possible.
Lucas’ mother, Jessica Goeller, said she was elated and sad at the same time to learn about the direct donation.
“As a mom, you feel the sorrow and her pain because you've been there before, you've begged God not to take your kid,” she said.
The donor family is working with their local organ transplant team to recover organ tissue in hopes of saving the lives of other children, including Lucas.
Jessica Goeller said she knows this might be Lucas' best shot and is confident in his surgeons, who have performed five liver transplants that were all successful.
"Being that Lucas' condition is deteriorating so fast, it's almost better to give this a shot and pray for the best because we may not get another offer, she said. "It's going to be a risky and complicated surgery, but with anything, there are always risks and complications."
Lucas’ family asks for continued prayers, not only for Lucas, but also for the family of the donor child.
To become an organ donor, visit www.DonateLife.net, and discuss your wishes with your family.
The GNC Live Well Mile announced "Run 1 For Lucas," an opportunity for runners in Pittsburgh to dedicate their mile run on July 31 to Lucas. [CLICK HERE for more information]
The organizers hope that the event will help encourage families who are faced with the decision to say "yes" to organ donation.