JACKSON, Miss.– In an operation that gave a Jackson mother a new chance at life, a team at the University of Mississippi Medical Center successfully completed the state’s first liver transplant in 22 years. The recipient Karen Battle, received her new liver on March 4 and just 10 days later was able to head back to her south Jackson home.
Autoimmune hepatitis, a condition brought on in 2009 through no fault of her own, turned Battle’s immune system against her own liver. Over the last four years she fought the disease with the help of specialists from Nashville to New Orleans, but despite those efforts, her condition worsened and it became clear she would eventually need a new liver.
More than a year ago, a specialist at Vanderbilt University put Battle in touch with Dr. Christopher Anderson, UMMC associate professor of transplant surgery and division chief of transplant and hepatobiliary surgery.
Upon his arrival at UMMC, Anderson began building the team of specialists and working to meet the regulatory requirements to restart UMMC’s liver transplant program. This January the United Network for Organ Sharing, the governing body for organ transplantation in the U.S., approved UMMC’s liver transplant program. With the team’s first transplant behind it, Anderson says he expects the UMMC team will handle 10-15 liver transplants this year.
“They’ve given me my life back,” said Karen Battle transplant patient, about the University transplant team, the donor and donor’s family. “I’ve learned that you should celebrate every moment you have. Don’t hold back, waiting for something special. Live and enjoy it now.”
For more information contact Jack Mazurak at (601) 984-1970.