Yale’s Center for Living Organ Donors brings donors together, provides lifelong health monitoring

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The last few times Connecticut had snowstorms, Matt Ragaini worked marathon hours plowing and dispatching plows for the city of Bristol. His wife, Jen, marveled at his stamina. Just two years before, the couple were lying in adjoining operating rooms so that doctors could give Matt a section of Jen’s liver. The hope was that this would cure a chronic liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis that had stolen Matt’s energy and could have killed him. Before the surgery, “I felt like I was sitting back and watching him slip through my fingers,” says Jen.

Now Matt is robust and healthy, and the spotlight has turned to Jen, who is a member of an exclusive club of people who have donated a liver or kidney to save someone else. Surgeons from Yale Medicine’s and Yale New Haven Hospital’s Center for Living Organ Donors are recruiting people like her to help them expand a pioneering program. The center is the first in the country to create supportive communities of their living donors and provide them with free, lifelong local monitoring for any health issues that may arise related to their donation.

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Corey Bryant serves as Director of Communications for The Alliance.
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