Stories about: Rima Fawaz

Liver brothers: Two lives linked by split-liver transplant

Brent and Malambo - Liver transplant recipientsIt is late in the evening on June 14, 2015. Kern Tyler and his wife Pasina Mazoka-Tyler sit in a waiting room at Boston Children’s Hospital, while their 11-month-old son Malambo Mazoka-Tyler, born with a life-threatening disease called biliary atresia, undergoes a liver transplant.

To arrive at this moment, they have traveled vast distances, visited multiple hospitals, sought the advice and counsel of numerous doctors, packed all their belongings and moved more than 7000 miles from their home in Zambia, Africa, to Boston, Massachusetts.

He had picked out what he wanted to wear, where he wanted to be buried, and he told me, ‘My soul is all I have left. If I don’t have a liver, I am going to die.’

Yet, they call this journey a blessing.

In the same room, a family from Maine patiently waits, while their son is prepped for his liver transplant.

Born with cystic fibrosis, 18-year-old Brent Groder is battling end-stage liver disease. Just two months earlier, he was planning his funeral, recalls his mom Charlene Newhall. “He had picked out what he wanted to wear, where he wanted to be buried, and he told me, ‘My soul is all I have left. If I don’t have a liver, I am going to die.’”

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