Peter H. – Living-Donor Liver Transplant Story


The Challenge: Biliary Atresia

In June 2006, Catherine Herridge had surgery to donate part of her liver to her infant son, Peter. The same day, doctors at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh replaced Peter's diseased liver with a piece of his mom's healthy liver.

"Peter was born in December 2005. And it was clear to us pretty quickly that he was sick and that his liver wasn't working properly."

By the time he was six weeks old, doctors diagnosed him with biliary atresia.

The Path to Living-Donor Transplant at UPMC

When we came to UPMC Children's in April 2020, it was really the first time that anyone told us that they really thought they could help him. It was hard to hear that he needed a liver transplant, but we all knew that's what was necessary.

But Peter was very sick and deteriorated quickly.

That's when doctors at UPMC Children's said we should really consider finding a living donor. So, they evaluated me at UPMC Montefiore and three weeks after that, we were transplanted.

The Solution

After the surgery, Peter spent one month in the ICU because he was too weak. He had a lot of problems with infection and a lung collapse.

"People always ask me, 'What's ahead for Peter?' And I say, 'Well, I don't really know what's ahead, but Peter has a future now.'

Six months ago, I don't think it was clear that Peter really had a future. I think he probably wouldn't have made it to the summer if he hadn't had his surgery at the time he did.

The surgery is really just one part of it. What the transplant team did for him was really a miracle, and I don't really know how to thank them for that.

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh continues to be a leader in making many quality of life improvements for kids who need transplanted.

This means:

  • Better outcomes.
  • Longer lives.
  • Shorter hospital stays.
  • Fewer medications.

And it lets children get back to doing what they do best — being kids.