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The Liver Institute Celebrates Patient's Liver Birthday

These days, Mahendra Patel, 70, is a changed man; in more ways than one. On Oct. 15, 2020, marked one year since he underwent a successful liver transplant at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

About 15 years ago, he left behind a successful engineering career in India to bring his family to America. In the years since Mr. Patel has worked his way up from the bottom all over again. He was living the American Dream.

Until his health started to fail and he was diagnosed with liver cancer.

Seeking treatment

Mr. Patel was referred to The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas and came under the care of Jeffery Weinstein, MD, Medical Director of Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Services.

After Dr. Weinstein confirmed his diagnosis, Mr. Patel was approved for a liver transplant and added to the list. These were crucial first steps towards restoring his health. Next, and of equal importance, the transplant team would work to ensure that Mr. Patel was comfortable and committed to the transplant process.

Sensing that Mr. Patel was still uneasy, Dr. Weinstein spent additional time addressing his concerns. Something Mr. Patel was deeply grateful for.

Transplant surgeon Alejandro Mejia, MD, FACS, also met with Mr. Patel at length and was able to give him the needed confidence for surgery.

Transplant surgery

On the day of his liver transplant, Mr. Patel was confused when the nurses began singing ‘Happy Birthday’ as they prepared for his surgery.

“They explained it’s a tradition because it’s the first day of your new life with a healthy liver,” says Mr. Patel.

His new liver was transplanted without issue and now that he has recovered his health he has a new outlook on life.

A changed man

In the year since his transplant, he has dedicated himself to honoring the life that was lost which gave him his life back.

After discovering that his donor was of Hispanic origin, Mr. Patel donated directly to that community through a local Catholic church.

He has also made large contributions to health care organizations in India.

But as his transplant birthday date got closer, what Mr. Patel wanted more than anything to celebrate with those who made it possible, his team at The Liver Institute.

A birthday celebration

The party was planned. The cake ordered. Everybody who was able came to celebrate Mr. Patel’s first transplant birthday.

“We are grateful that he trusted our liver transplant program to manage his liver disease and transplant surgery,” says Dr. Weinstein. “It’s an honor and a privilege to celebrate with him.”

In addition to many members of his medical team, more than 45 others, extended medical team members, family and friends, both in the U.S and India, joined the celebration via video conference. Even his transplant surgeon, Dr. Mejia, stopped by to cut the cake!

“It was a special day to honor my donor and say thank you to the transplant team at Methodist,” says Mr. Patel. “Every person I met at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, including the janitor who stopped what they were doing to walk me to the right department when I got lost during one of my first visits, exceeded my highest expectations.”

We look forward to many more years of celebration!

Pictures from the celebration: