UPMC: Niles liver donor, 4-yr-old girl recovering after transplant

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WKBN) – David Denovchek sent WKBN a thumbs-up photo Thursday, just a day after donating part of his liver to a Trumbull County girl.

He said he’s feeling better than expected.

According to a post on the group’s Facebook page, four-year-old Jamie of Trumbull County underwent a 14-hour surgery Wednesday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

“That liver was made for Jamie. It came with two blood vessels, and she had two vessels, so in some ways, it was made for her,” Doctor Rakesh Sindhi said.

Although Jamie remains on a ventilator in the ICU, doctors say they’re pleased with how she’s doing.

And the news keeps getting better: Doctor George Mazariegos said the disease biliary atresia, once threatening her life, is now cured.

“All indicators are that her liver is functioning well, that it is doing the processes that we expect it to do, and that her body is tolerating it quite well,” Mazariegos said.

And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Both the staff here at the hospital and the folks over at Trumbull County Children’s Services are calling Denovchek a hero, because without this transplant, Jamie had just weeks left to live.

“David really epitomizes what that word means. He was a total stranger who just heard her story and said, ‘I can help her, and I’m gonna help her,” Marrilyn Pape of Trumbull County Children’s Services said.

Jamie now has a second chance at life and will be moving forward with making her foster family her forever home.

“She’s beaten the odds so far, and we’re hoping that will continue,” Mazariegos said.

Doctors at UPMC expect David will be released from the hospital in the next three or four days. As for Jamie, she’ll probably have to stay there for a month or so.