While on the Waitlist
Once your child is placed on the liver transplant waiting list, a living donor liver transplant may be an option if a suitable donor is identified.
Learn about our partnership with the Mayo Clinic Adult Living Donor Program.
If a living donor is not available for your child, the other option is to wait for a compatible deceased donor liver.
Please contact our transplant coordinator regarding living donor liver transplantation at 602-933-0940.
What to do While Waiting for a Liver Transplant
Waiting for an organ will probably be one of the hardest times for you and your family, because it's impossible to predict when an organ will become available. You may worry about your child's medical condition. You may feel helpless, stressed and frustrated, but you can take a number of steps to make the time pass and make sure your child is as healthy as possible when a donor organ is found:
Maintain a normal routine, as much as possible
Talk to your family and friends about your concerns. Ask for help with errands and household chores, if you feel comfortable doing that. The transplant team is also available to answer your questions, talk with you about your worries, and connect you with helpful resources. Don't hesitate to call them.
Do all you can to keep your child healthy
You can help make sure your child is as healthy as possible when a liver becomes available. Take your child to the pediatrician for regular checkups. You'll also need to bring your child to the transplant clinic for ongoing evaluations. Stay in touch with the transplant coordinator and let him know about any changes in your child's health. Contact the transplant coordinator if your child is hospitalized.
Talk to your child's doctor about immunizations
Once your child has been listed for a liver transplant, it's important that your child continue to receive immunizations against childhood illnesses such as chickenpox, measles and more. In preparation for transplant, she may need vaccinations ahead of the regularly recommended schedule.
The liver transplant team will be happy to work with your primary care pediatrician to make sure your child gets the shots she needs to stay healthy before, during and after transplant. Should your child be exposed to any of the childhood diseases for which she hasn't been vaccinated, please contact the transplant coordinator.
Regularly scheduled immunizations should also continue after your child's transplant.
For more information about vaccines, please visit CHOP's Vaccine Education Center.
Be prepared to go to the hospital
Because no one knows for sure when a liver will become available, it's very important that your family be prepared to travel to the hospital at a moment's notice. Whether you are traveling by car, plane or train, you should make your travel arrangements now. Be sure to talk to the transplant coordinator if you have questions about directions or transportation. Pack a bag for yourself and your child. Make a list of things you want to bring with you. If you have other children at home, be sure to make any necessary arrangements for them ahead of time, too.
Let the transplant team know where you are
It's vital that the transplant center be able to reach you if a suitable liver becomes available. Be sure to give the transplant coordinator the phone numbers of people who can easily locate and contact you. If you travel, you should contact the transplant coordinator with your itinerary, destination and phone numbers before you leave.
You may also be asked to carry a beeper, which will be provided free of charge, so the transplant coordinator can reach you; make sure he has your beeper number. Replace your beeper batteries often to keep them fresh. When the beeper goes off, you must immediately call the phone number in the display. If the coordinator can't reach you, the liver may have to go to the next potential recipient.