Wheeling Native seeks living liver donor | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo of Joselyn King Dale Stauffer, right, currently seeking a liver transplant, relaxes on the couch alongside grandd

WHEELING – Wheeling native Dale Stauffer has lived with liver disease for eight years and he needs a ‘living donor’ willing to donate part of his liver organ.

Stauffer, 67, lived more than 62 years in Wheeling before moving with his wife Karen to the Columbus area to be closer to Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University. He was diagnosed with NASH (Non-Alcoholic SteatoHepatitis), a non-alcoholic form of liver cirrhosis.

OSU medical experts later determined they could not do a transplant there for Stauffer.

“Doctors told us it would be ‘too complicated,'” Karen Stauffer said. “We later found out that UPMC in Pittsburgh was number one in the country for transplants. If we had known that, we would have stayed in Wheeling.

The Stauffers still live in Newark, Ohio. Dale Stauffer, meanwhile, is now on the transplant list at UPMC awaiting a liver. Living donors can be family members, friends, or even a stranger willing to help.

A patient on the transplant list and their potential living donor don’t even have to have the same blood type.

According to the UPMC website, to be a living donor, all you need is “to be in good physical and mental health, with no history of disease involving major organs, as this could complicate the surgery”.

In a living donor liver transplant, only a portion of a healthy adult’s liver is what is transplanted into the patient.

“The liver has the unique ability to regenerate, or regrow, in just a few months, leaving both the living donor and the recipient with a fully functioning liver…” according to information from UPMC.

“Although the recovery process may vary, most people who receive a living donor liver transplant experience faster recovery times and better outcomes compared to people who receive a deceased donor liver transplant.”

About 50% of the donor liver is removed, although the liver regenerates in about eight to 10 weeks. Donors usually stay in the hospital for up to a week, and no medication is usually needed after leaving the hospital.

Stauffer was employed for 21 years at the old Blaw Knox Foundry in Wheeling. After the factory closed, he went to work for Norfolk Southern Railroad at Mingo Junction. He and Karen Stauffer have been married for 43 years. Stauffer has two adult sons and four grandchildren.

Those interested in donating a portion of their liver to Stauffer should contact the family at [email protected]

More information about the procedure can be found on the UPMC website at https://www.upmc.com/services/transplant/liver/living-donor/faq.

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