Camden, NJ (PRWEB) May 13, 2013
When 57-year-old Vineland resident Rafael Roman was hospitalized at a South Jersey medical center with liver failure one year ago, his doctor told him there was nothing that could be done for him. “He told me I’d be lucky to make it to the end of the week,” says Roman, a father of five. “I said to him, ‘You know it’s Thursday, right?’”
Fortunately, Roman did make it to the end of the week. That Saturday he was discharged from the hospital and immediately sought medical attention at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, one of six transplant centers in New Jersey and the only facility in southern New Jersey.
Admitted to Lourdes, Roman was evaluated and put at the top of the transplant list. After waiting 45 days – an eternity to someone without time on his side – a compatible liver became available. He was successfully transplanted and discharged 10 days later.
Roman is just one of an estimated five million Americans living with hepatitis C. Caused by a virus spread through blood-to-blood transmission with an infected person, hepatitis C can lead to liver cancer and liver failure. More than 15,000 Americans die each year from illnesses related to hepatitis C. It is the main cause of death from liver disease and the leading reason for liver transplantation.
“Most people who have hepatitis C do not know they have it because they don’t look or feel sick. But hepatitis C can damage your liver for years without causing symptoms,” said Hisham ElGenaidi, MD, Lourdes medical director of hepatology. “With early detection, many people can get lifesaving treatment that can limit the disease’s progression.”
Hepatitis C spreads through contact with the blood of an infected person. You can get the virus if:
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