Patient Success Stories

The University of Maryland is home to a high-volume liver transplant program, changing the lives of patients with the most advanced cases liver failure through living and deceased donor transplants.

Here are a few of our patients and their stories.

Living Donor Liver Transplants | Traditional Liver Transplants


Living Donor Liver Transplants 

Jay Herzog

Sudden symptoms prompted a visit to the doctor’s office, where Jay was diagnosed with end-stage organ failure and told he was in need of a life-saving transplant. After reaching out to family and friends, Jay found his living donor. One year later, he lit the stage for the Everyman Theatre’s Under the Skin, a play about organ transplant.




Brian Morrison and Akil Parker

When Brian learned he had Hepatitis C that would eventually lead to liver failure, he thought transplant was an option years away. When his health deteriorated even more, his son stepped up to be his living donor.




Bharat and Nikunj Patel

Bharat’s liver began failing and the Patel family became consumed with his care. Determined to take better care of himself, Bharat made significant lifestyle changes, which inspired youngest son Nikunj to get tested as a potential match for living liver donation.




Charles Hughes and April Biggs

April always said she “didn’t want to be an organ donor.” But watching her “uncle Charles” wait for a deceased donor liver transplant inspired a change of heart, and she soon signed up to give a piece of herself to her beloved friend.




Christina and Costen Merritt

After a year of waiting for a deceased donor, Christina (who suffered from end-stage liver disease) learned about living donation from her doctors at UMMC. Without hesitation, her son Costen stepped up to be her living donor.




Kathleen Dobbs

Kathleen was initially wary about putting her loved ones’ health at risk with a living donation, but with help of the UMMC Liver Center transplant team and her supportive family, she accepted a portion of her brother’s liver and has been living life to the fullest ever since.




Traditional Liver Transplants 

Helen Schwarz

Helen thought she was on the road to recovery after receiving a kidney transplant at UMMC, but her cystic liver was still getting in her way. Dr. Rolf Barth found a liver for Helen's transplant that had been rejected by 60 other transplant centers, and it's still going strong.




Doug Wetzel

Doug sustained severe heatstroke during a triathlon and soon went into organ failure. Doctors at three UMMS hospitals worked together to ensure his survival, and Doug received a life-saving liver transplant.




Thomas Travers

After being treated for liver cancer, Thomas was deactivated from the transplant list at his local transplant center in M.A. After learning about double-listing, he scheduled an eVisit with the UMMC transplant team, and flew to Baltimore for a transplant less than a month later.




Carolyn McPhaul

Carolyn didn’t think that having a child would be feasible after having a liver transplant. But when she found out she was pregnant, her UMMC hepatologist and obstetrician worked closely to monitor her health and optimize her immunosuppressant medications for the health of the fetus. With attentive treatment, baby Christian was born healthy and happy!




Nate Brunson

Nate, a patient with a rare and often deadly form of bile duct cancer, received a liver transplant with help from the multidisciplinary team at UMMC’s Liver Center.





Christine Roberts

Acute liver failure (also known as fulminant liver failure) crept up on Christine, who showed no symptoms of the disease. On the brink of death, the UMMC transplant team worked quickly to put her on the regional waiting list and transplant the organ within hours.




Gene Cassidy

Gene Cassidy, a Baltimore police officer who was blinded in the line of duty, has cheated death twice -- once when he was shot in the line of duty in 1987, resulting in permanent blindness, and a second time when he nearly died in 2012 of end-stage cirrhosis caused by the hepatitis C virus. In need of a liver transplant, Gene came to the transplant experts at UMMC.





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