Easter brings new life for liver transplant recipient

Photo by Chris Sonnenday, M.D., taken Easter morning.

Photo by Chris Sonnenday, M.D., taken Easter morning.

Easter was already a special day for Nelson and Carole Thulin. The Milford couple was excited to have their three adult children home to spend a meaningful Sunday together, rejoicing in the new life signified by the holiday, and the promise of spring.

This year’s holiday started early, though, with a 1 a.m. phone call: Nelson Thulin, too, would receive the gift of life this year. His new liver was ready, and he needed to head into the hospital for surgery.

“There couldn’t be a better day,” Thulin says. “People were always saying their prayers were with me, and then I spent Easter Sunday in the operating room.”

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For George Magulak, an agonizing wait for a liver transplant

April is Donate Life Month

liver transplant

George Magulak

George Magulak isn’t feeling as well today as he did last August when he was featured in the latest “Wolverines for Life” video promoting organ donation. The Oakland County dentist was diagnosed twelve years ago with primary biliary cirrhosis, an autoimmune disease that has progressed to near-liver failure. Since there aren’t enough available livers for everyone needing a transplant, George is in the heartbreaking position of knowing he needs to be clearly in danger of dying in order to move to the top of the waiting list.

“It’s been a challenge lately. I’m noticeably weaker, less steady on my feet and things are getting worse,” he says. George was Continue reading

Baby boomers targeted for Hepatitis C testing

Recently approved drugs make HepC treatment simple and more effective

The diagnosis was a surprise for Claudia Dionne: testing during her yearly check-up revealed hepatitis C. The liver-damaging virus was not causing symptoms but for the 4 million people in the United States with hepatitis C it can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and is the most common reason people need a liver transplant.

But research is changing what comes next for those who learn their diagnosis early. New drugs – Victrelis, Incivek, Harvoni, Olysio and Sovaldi — make treatment easier and more effective and in November, combination treatment of Sovaldi and Olysio was approved. Interferon-free oral combination therapy is available for almost all types of hepatitis C infection.

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