Will Lindberg is a paramedic and a member of our team at Pro EMS who sparked our organization’s dedication to living donation. A chance run-in with a patient experiencing the pain of liver failure led him to research transplants, where he learned that giving a portion of your liver while alive was possible. As Will himself later put it, “once I understood that, I thought to myself, ‘how do I even argue against doing something like that?’”
Now that he had decided to be a non-directed (anonymous) donor, he had to chart his own path. Thanks to their outstanding liver transplant record, he chose New York Presbyterian to perform his surgery. What followed was a series of assessments, both physical and psychological, to ensure that he was fit to be a donor.
Once he was cleared, a donor was selected, and Will underwent a procedure where about 20% of his liver was removed over the course of four hours and then transplanted into a two year old boy who had traveled up from North Carolina for the transplant.
Will’s full recovery from his surgery took about two and a half months, but it was a small price to pay to give a little boy a new lease on life. His liver regenerated and was back to full strength in two to four weeks and would grow back to its original size in about a year.
Will’s wonderful example inspired our entire team and led us to creating EMS Gives Life. Our goal is to ensure that any first responder who wants to be a living donor receives the right guidance, resources, and support to make their journey as easy as possible.
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