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. He contracted the virus through a lifesaving blood transfusion after his 1987 injury, before blood was routinely tested for hepatitis C. In June 2012, after months of waiting, Gene had a successful liver transplant at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore and is doing very well. Watch Gene Cassidy's video »
Robert Hopkins and Jennifer Dietrick
Robert and Jennifer
Robert Hopkins, 25, and Jennifer Dietrick, 25, both of Baltimore, had been dating seriously for more than two years when Jennifer was diagnosed in February 2012 with acute liver failure caused by excessive levels of acetaminophen. She had been taking acetaminophen for several weeks as she recovered from injuries sustained in a car accident, unaware that overuse of this medicine could lead to liver failure. Watch Robert and Jennifer's video »
Christina and Costen Merritt
Christina and Costen Merritt
Costen Merritt donated part of his liver to his mother through the Division of Transplantation's Living Donor Liver program. Christina Merritt was able to be transplanted sooner because of this generous donation from her son. The best donors for living liver donation are family members or close, personal friends of the intended recipient. The transplant surgeons at the University of Maryland are some of the most highly trained Living Donor Liver transplant surgeons in the country. Watch Christina and Costen Merritt's video »
Jessica Protasio was 28 years old when she was diagnosed with liver cancer. A liver transplant was the only option for her. Jessica began changing her diet and exercise habits to prepare her body to support a new liver.
After her transplant, she competed in her first ever foot races and has plans for Iron Girl triathlons. Jessica is a firm believer in being your own best advocate for your health and wellness, and she now has a new respect for her "one and only" liver and her overall well-being. Watch Jessica's video »
A 28-year old man from Georgia, David Krech, is recovering from a rare, lifesaving heart/liver transplant on October 15 at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The 13-hour operation followed a five-month journey as he awaited a suitable heart and liver donor.
The journey began in early May. Dr. Raul Santos, Krech's physician in Thomasville, Ga., believed that the young man would not survive much longer without a heart and liver transplant. He contacted the University of Maryland Medical Center's heart transplant program for help. Read David's story.
Since 1980, Ken Smith, a resident of Ocean Pines, Maryland., had been coping with numerous health problems, including elevated levels of liver enzymes, Type 2 diabetes and pancytopenia. In 2004, Ken was diagnosed with liver and kidney failure. His local gastroenterologist referred him to UMMC for evaluation, where it was determined he needed both a liver and kidney transplant. In 2008, Smith had the transplant and two years after the surgery, he has made a full recovery and is able to enjoy a full life with his family and friends. Read Ken's story.
Donald Guyton and Russell Ward
Domino Liver Transplant Recipients
Russell Ward, left, (with his wife Dee) holds a medical identification bracelet given to him by Donald Guyton, right. Guyton's wife Louise is behind him.
Donald Guyton, 64, had a liver disease which was causing paralysis and eventually could have resulted in fatal heart damage. But for Russell Ward, 74, who was extremely ill with another type of liver disease, Guyton's liver proved to be a lifesaver. As part of a unique "domino" or sequential liver transplant, the first ever performed in Maryland, Guyton received a new liver from a deceased donor to cure his paralyzing disease. Then his liver was transplanted into Ward, who was suffering from liver failure.
The simultaneous transplants took place in an 18-hour operation on May 19, 2005. Read full story