A Mother's Gift: Mom donates part of her liver to daughter

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A local woman received a life-saving gift and will celebrate a special Mother's Day with her donor.

Arnela Hadzic, 21, has a rare liver disease. She received a transplant from a deceased donor when she was 7 years old, but it was failing. So two weeks ago, she received a partial liver from a living donor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"The liver is the only organ in the body that can truly regenerate," said Dr. Michael Abecassis, Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"This time I feel my recovery is a lot quicker," Hadzic said.

Hadzic's transplant was not only unique because it was from a living donor, but also because the donor was her mom.

"It was the best gift anyone could give you, another chance of life," she said.

"I've been watching her for a few months suffering and I couldn't watch that anymore so I asked to be tested," said Suada Hadzic. "Luckily everything was good. Now I'm the happiest mother in the world."

Arnela's mother is recovering from her donor surgery. She is in pain physically, but she says emotional her pain is lifted.

"When I see her wake up so happy and she doesn't have that jaundice and she feels better than me it makes me cry," she said.

This Mother's Day, the Hadzics have much to celebrate.
"Just enjoy with my family. Enjoy every second. I don't need nothing. I just need them around me," Suada Hadzic said.

Dr. Abecassis said many people die waiting for transplants. He said the liver can regenerate in just two to three months for the donor and recipient.

While the risks for any surgery are real, he says more people can be good candidates for living donation.

The Hadzics hope others will consider being living donors.
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