Recently, Dr. Alejandro Mejia, Executive Medical Director for Organ Transplantation at The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas, had the pleasure of being featured on Channel 8 News for performing a rare feat. He and his team of surgeons completed three liver transplant surgeries in 24 hours. The Mallindine family and Dr. Mejia shared their outlooks on being a part of this unique turn of events.
The average liver transplant patient at Methodist Dallas spends around six months waiting for a donor match. To find three matches in such a short time, while not unheard of, was a moment of good fortune. For Julie Mallindine and her family, this lucky occurrence, was literally a life-saving opportunity. At only 52 years old, Mallindine’s family was preparing to say their goodbyes as doctors did not expect her to survive through the week without a new liver. That Saturday afternoon, they received the miraculous call that doctors had secured a match for Julie. The Mallindine family had no idea that they were about to be Dr. Mejia’s third liver transplant in a single day.
Dr. Mejia was the team leader for all three liver transplants performed on July 30, 2015. He stated they received notification of the third available donor match as they were finishing the second liver transplant surgery. The team of surgeons at The Liver Institute jumped at the chance to seize this rare opportunity. As reported by Channel 8 News, Tracy Giacoma of Methodist Dallas Transplant Services remarked, “There’s no time to waste when you have a match even if it means exhausting back to back to back transplants.”
“There’s no time to waste when you have a match even if it means exhausting back to back to back transplants.”
While back to back transplant surgeries may be exhausting, Dr. Mejia says, “What keeps us going is the patients who need it. That’s what we’re here for. That’s what transplant is all about is being ready when the organs are available.”
Mallindine, a mother of four from Lubbock, Texas, now knows how her transplant played out in conjunction with life-saving operations for two other families. “I just thank Dr. Mejia. He gave me my life back; Well, our lives back actually,” Mallindine commented.
“I just thank Dr. Mejia. He gave me my life back; Well, our lives back actually,” Mallindine commented.
While Methodist Dallas performs approximately 60 liver transplants each year, they report that, at any given time, there are almost 150 patients waiting for those transplants. Completing three liver transplants in a single day is an amazing opportunity for everyone involved. You can be a part of life-saving moments like this one too. Register at www.DonateLifeTexas.org today to become an organ donor and help save lives like Julie’s!