Teenager Undergoes Historic Operation To Save Her Mother

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At the age of just 19, Aliana Deveza organised and underwent a historic operation in order to save her mother’s life; she persuaded a hospital to do the first organ exchange in the United States, in which different organs were exchanged between pairs of unrelated donors. This operation was the result of two years of hard work that finally paid off, as Aliana Deveza continued to help her mother Erosalyn Deveza from years of kidney dialysis, illness, and possibly, an early death.

When waking up after the operation, Aliana Deveza said, “The first thing that I asked when I woke up was just how was my mom? Is she okay? Did she make it? I wasn’t really worried about myself anymore; I was just kind of focused on getting through the pain that I was feeling. Just hearing that everybody had made it, I was able breathe again.”

By “everybody”, what Aliana Deveza meant was not only herself and her mother, but also two other women who are sisters and were having operations done. The plan was that one of Aliana’s organs would go to one of the sisters, and one of the sister’s kidneys would go to Aliana’s mother. Overall, the operation involved four people and saved two lives, with two people donating organs to strangers to save their family member.

Kidneys are one of the few organs that a living person is able to donate to another, due to the fact that you only need one functioning kidney to live. However, it is not always possible to give your kidney to someone you know who needs one.

Alvin Roth has been recognised with the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work devising a system to help more people donate and receive kidneys. The work of Alvin Roth and his colleagues resulted in a system that has been able to increase the number of kidney exchanges, so thousands of lives are now saved each year.

He said, “Unlike many organs, it is possible for someone to give a kidney to someone they love and save their life. But sometimes they can’t remove your kidney even though you’re healthy enough to give one. And maybe I’m the donor in a similar case. I’d love to give a kidney to someone I love, but I can’t. But maybe Once my kidney works for your patient and your kidney works for my patient. That’s the simplest kind of kidney exchange where two pairs of donors get together, and each gets a compatible kidney from the other patients.”

The bravery portrayed by Aliana Deveza and her love for her mother is definitely shown through all the hard work she put into the two years of making this plan; with the operation completed, we hope all four people are healthy and continue to live in great health.

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