On Sunday, Fox News Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry announced that he would be taking a medical leave of absence to donate his liver to his sister, Colleen Henry, who has been battling a degenerative liver disease passed down in their family.
In a vulnerable op-ed, Henry wrote about his decision to become a donor, and the several months of preparation and testing he underwent to be cleared for the surgery. He was lucky to not be affected by the same disease as Colleen, and Henry hopes that by sharing his experience, he can raise awareness for the many others in need of organ donors.
“It is my sincere hope that talking about this journey for myself and Colleen, who has been bravely battling degenerative liver disease over the last few years, will help bring some awareness for the over 113,000 people waiting at this time for lifesaving organs (about 13,000 of whom need a healthy liver),” he wrote in his op-ed, published on Fox News.
Henry will be undergoing the surgery on Tuesday, July 9, after he was finally approved to be a donor, spending the several previous months losing 10 to 15 lbs. to reduce the fat in his liver.
In his piece, he highlights the fact that many people don’t know that the liver is an organ that can literally grow back — unlike a kidney donation that leaves the donor with only one kidney afterwards.
“On Tuesday I will be donating approximately 30 percent of my liver to my sister at a hospital in the Northeast,” he explained. “The liver is an amazing organ that will then regenerate in both me and my sister after the transplantation…I am told that within four to six weeks, both of those portions of my liver will grow back to 100 percent in each of us.”
The procedure will take roughly six hours for Henry, and around eight to 10 hours for his sister. The journalist waited to tell his sister about his plan to be her donor until he started to reach his weight-loss goal for donor approval, and once they got the green-light, Henry couldn’t be happier.
“I am determined to do whatever I can to give my sister the greatest gift of all, which quite simply is life,” he said.
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