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Living donation allows family to celebrate another Father's Day - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Living donation allows family to celebrate another Father's Day

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NEW YORK -

"I'm just really glad that I have him here still," Marielle Frey said.

The Frey family has a lot to celebrate this weekend. Last Father's Day, Marielle's dad, Steven, was in liver failure and needed a transplant.

"I was going to die eventually," Steven said. "They just didn't know how long I had."

Steven was on a transplant waiting list but doctors said the chances of getting a liver were slim. So Marielle got tested to see if she could give him a piece of her liver. She was a match.

"If this was something I could help with, 100 percent I'm there. I will do whatever I need to do," Marielle said.

Like any father, Steven was more concerned about his daughter.

"I wasn't really afraid for myself," he said. "I was always afraid for her. From the minute we went into the OR to the minute I woke up."

"As soon as we start cutting the donor liver in half, the liver starts to regenerate. And within six weeks, 90 percent of it grows back," explained Dr. Sandy Florman, the director of the Transplant Institute at Mount Sinai.

Florman and a team at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York performed the complicated, hourslong surgeries.

"Living donation is a really important aspect of what we do because we're trying to save people's lives and there simply aren't enough organs from deceased donors to go around," Florman said.

It's been almost a year since the transplant and everyone is doing great.

"I wanted something... for us to share together," Steven said of the necklaces the father and daughter wear. "Mine says 'hero's dad' and hers says 'my hero.'"

A father-daughter bond that can't be broken.

"I will always have a part of her with me at all times now," Steven said.

Last year, nearly 6,000 transplants were made possible by living donors.

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