Chicago police officer in need of liver

Leah Hope Image
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Chicago police officer in need of liver
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A Chicago police officer is in need of a liver transplant and is fighting to survive.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago police officer is in need of a liver transplant and is fighting to survive.

Officer Jacinta "Frannie" O'Driscoll is on the Chicago the Police Firearms Investigation Team. The team plays a critical role in finding out where guns are coming from and stopping that flow.

"It's difficult, it's challenging and it's rewarding," she said.

The 18-year veteran has been commended numerous times. But what most don't know is that she needs a liver transplant and has needed one for years.

"I don't want people worried or concerned about me," O'Driscoll said.

Since she's not sick enough for a full organ donation, Officer O'Driscoll will need a partial transplant from a living donor to survive her rare auto-immune.

She is only talking about this at the urging of friends and colleagues.

"It's not an easy thing to come on TV and let people know your personal business. But I hope people do, so that they can help," she said.

O'Driscoll said she wasn't going to say anything until she saw how the CPD superintendent shared his need for a kidney transplant.

"It's our obligation to help her and not let this officer pass away," CPD superintendent Eddie Johnson, said.

O'Driscoll's doctor said it's common for transplant patients to keep their condition quiet. He said talking about it can help the patient and others as there are simply not enough organs available for patients.

"It's very important to raise awareness of organ shortage and how much people can help others," Dr. Steven Flamm, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said.

"I didn't want to take a liver from someone who was young, married, with a family. You know, I'm not so, I figured I wasn't as important," O'Driscoll said.

Officer O'Driscoll hasn't missed a shift despite the damage to her liver.

She hopes to be able to keep going. There is much work to do to make Chicago safer.

Officer O'Driscoll has managed her rare liver disease with medications and outpatients procedures until now.

She is blood type O and unfortunately her family members in Ireland are not able to donate.

A living donor has to be healthy, thin and under 50.

While the majority of organ donations are made after the donor had died, 10 percent of donors are living.

The criteria for a living donor is anyone who is healthy, thin and under 50 with type O blood. Anyone who meets the criteria and would like to be a donor can call Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 312-695-0340 and say it is for Officer "Frannie" O'Driscoll.