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It's A Merry Christmas for Baby John After Mother Michelle's Life-Saving Transplant
Date:12/9/2008

Rare back-to-back cesarean and liver transplant surgeries rescue dying mom and preemie baby

STANFORD, Calif., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- "We were thinking we'd be lucky to get one live person out of this situation, and we didn't know which it would be," said William Benitz, MD.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081209/SF50878)

Benitz, the chief of neonatology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, was describing an extraordinary and intense collaboration by doctors from Packard and Stanford Hospital & Clinics that rescued a young mom from death - and also saved her premature baby. Now, Michelle Mattingly, husband Leonard and daughter Elektra are thankfully celebrating baby John's first Christmas, a holiday that almost didn't happen for mom or baby.

At the peak of the August crisis, doctors had no idea whether they could rescue Michelle from liver-failure-induced coma and death, let alone save the baby who was still 14 weeks before his due date. And doctors at both hospitals believe that never before have back-to-back cesarean and liver transplant surgeries rescued both a mother so ill and an infant so premature.

"We were treading into unknown territory," said Maurice Druzin, MD, the obstetrician who delivered John. Druzin is chief of obstetrics at Packard Children's and a specialist in high-risk deliveries.

The drama started Aug. 3. Michelle was nauseated and in pain when she and Leonard came to Packard Children's labor and delivery department. The couple wanted to be sure everything was OK for Michelle and their eagerly awaited son. As the Packard staff monitored Michelle, they detected an alarming spike in blood indicators of liver failure. They rushed her next door to the adult intensive care unit at Stanford Hospital.
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SOURCE Lucille Packard Children's Hospital
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