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Liver transplants hard to come by in California

Liver transplant lists are longer in California than in other states.

When Laura McKay was diagnosed earlier this year with end-stage liver disease and told she had one, maybe two, years tops, that was bad enough.

Then she went down the bleak and confusing rabbit hole that is the liver transplant world only to arrive at what appears to be a dead end.

Not because she’s too old, horribly unhealthy or an inveterate alcoholic.

It’s her address.

She lives in California.

And here in the Golden State, getting a liver is apparently harder than winning the Super Lotto.

Too much demand, too little supply.

Hence, the rules for who can qualify are stacked against Laura, who’s married to local conservative radio host Jaz McKay.

It’s all about the MELD score.

MELD stands for Model for End-Stage Liver Disease and is a numerical ranking that goes from six (less sick) to 40 (gravely ill).

In California, a person’s MELD has to be in the red, so to speak, to get priority on the transplant waiting list.

“My MELD is 35,” Laura told me recently. “That’s more than high enough to get a transplant in other states.

“But here, you have to be practically dead.”

Read Full Article: LOIS HENRY: Liver transplants hard to come by in California

Read Full Article: LOIS HENRY: Liver transplants hard to come by in California

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