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Medical Edge: Liver transplant

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- It isn't often doctors use the word "cured," but that's exactly what transplant surgeons from The University of Cincinnati Medical Center are saying about a man from Indian Hill.

Jim Orr tells Local 12, "The conclusion of some physicians that we saw initially was that they thought I might live six to nine months from last April."
Jim Orr is barely a week out now from liver transplant surgery.  He says life with his wife of nearly 50 years isn't the only thing that means more these days.

"Everything means more, it I think like anything else, if you are threatened with losing it it becomes even more important or it becomes more aware how important it is," Orr said.

You see Jim was diagnosed and treated with aggressive chemotherapy for liver cancer a little more than a year ago.  But even with that, by the time he saw Doctor Shimul Shah he was given three to six months to live.
So  Jim began the process of applying for a liver transplant. 

Dr. Shah said, "The idea behind the transplant is although he had cancer all over his liver, and it still looked like it on his cat-scan, we would take the whole liver out and then put a new liver in.  So the question was could we cure him by doing a transplant?"
They didn't know for sure but a medical board approved the transplant.  And even though cancer patients are not generally candidates for transplant, when Doctor Shah's team removed the old liver they found there was not living cancer cells in that liver.  Just a big tumor that was old and dead but otherwise it was completely normal.  They think Jim is cured.

Jim says his mission now is, "To try to encourage everyone to make themselves available as an organ donor."

He also says it's to remind all of us every day that miracles do happen and what matters most.

"You have to have friends, family and faith  and all of those things make a big difference," said Jim.

To become an organ donor make sure to sign your drivers license and tell your family your wishes.

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Video HERE



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