Five-month-Old Receives Life-Saving Liver Transplant
In 2007, then five-month-old Kara French, who suffered from liver dysfunction and other complications, received a successful transplant at Holtz Children’s Hospital. But Kara was not the only patient to benefit from her donor organ. She received part of the donor’s liver while 46-year-old Victor Billingsley of Tulane, Mississippi received the remainder in a procedure at Tulane Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Her story begins at just a few days old when Kara was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a disease that causes the bile ducts outside and inside of the liver to be scarred and blocked. At three weeks, she had surgery to reconnect the bile ducts to the bowels, but continued to experience jaundice. She was discharged from the hospital and had follow-up visits as an outpatient. However, within a month, Kara was readmitted because her disease had worsened. She was placed on the liver transplant waiting list, and about three weeks later a match was found with a donor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Dr. Tomoaki Kato, a UM/Jackson liver/gastrointestinal surgeon at the Miami Transplant Institute, traveled to Louisiana to get the donated liver for Kara. Kara received her transplant that same day at Holtz Children’s. She was in intensive care for about two days and returned to the operating room about a week later to complete surgery on her stomach.
At the same time, Victor Billingsley – a former Floridian and father of three – was suffering from non-alcoholic cirrhosis and had a tumor in his liver. He was also placed on the transplant waiting list. Victor was told a young girl would be receiving about 20 percent of the donated liver and he would be receiving the remaining portion. Dr. Anil Paramesh from Tulane assisted Dr. Kato in splitting the donated liver. Victor received his transplant the same day as Kara, performed by Dr. Sander Florman, then director of Tulane’s Abdominal Transplant Institute.
Feb. 2018 Employee Stories
Proud of Jackson’s Cultural Evolution. Link opens story page.
As Jackson celebrates its centennial year, we rightly look back over 100 years of progress, growth, and service. My perspective doesn’t go back that far, but is illustrative of major growth nonetheless.Explore in story page.
Sep. 1952 Jackson History
University of Miami Opens School of Medicine. Link opens story page.
In 1952, the University of Miami School of Medicine opened and welcomed its first class of 28 students -- 26 men and two women.Explore in story page.
Jan. 2008 Medical Firsts
Treating Hypothermia from Within. Link opens story page.
In 2008, UHealth/Jackson surgeons became the first in the world to use an internal warming method to prevent hypothermia during burn surgery.Explore in story page.