A liver transplant between cousins cements their bond.
Milton Giard always looked up to his older cousin Rick Walker. Walker helped him with repairing dirt bikes and allowed Giard to tag along when he was a child.
Come Monday, Giard will be returning the favor.
Walker, of Lincoln, 50, who has Crohn’s disease, will receive 60 percent of Giard’s liver during a transplant surgery that day, Oct. 3. Giard, 41, also of Lincoln and a firefighter in Pawtucket, says everything fell into place after a conversation at East Matunuck State Beach, where the cousins grew up together.
Walker had been taking medication for Crohn’s disease since he was 18. Side effects damaged his liver and he was diagnosed with cirrhosis. He was on the list for a partial liver transplant at Lahey Medical Center in Burlington, Mass., for about six months when Giard realized he could donate a portion of his liver.
Until this summer, Giard hadn’t known about “living donors.” The two men explained that the list of individuals waiting for a donor is ranked based on the condition of the individual, from worst to best. But recovery for people who are in bad shape, the cousins said, is much more difficult.
|Read Full Article: Liver transplant strengthens bond between firefighter cousins | The Valley Breeze|