Man awaiting liver transplant gets some hope during coronavirus outbreak

A man born with a rare liver disease was told he may have weeks to live when his uncle was no longer able to donate his liver after the coronavirus pandemic put elective surgeries on hold. CNN's Randi Kaye has more.

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 3:01 PM
Updated: Mar 31, 2020 3:01 PM

Zach Branson can once again look forward to getting a new lease on life now that his liver transplant has been rescheduled after being put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Branson's transplant was delayed when his uncle was no longer able to donate his liver after the outbreak forced hospitals to put elective surgeries on hold to focus on the coronavirus.

But Monday brought the good news that the surgery to save his life is back on.

Branson was born with a rare liver condition and was always told that he would one day need a transplant.

Before the surgery was rescheduled, Branson told CNN he had only weeks to live.

In February, his uncle was approved as his living donor, and a transplant was scheduled for March 25. But then coronavirus broke out in the United States.

Twelve days before his uncle was to undergo surgery, Branson said his surgeon called to say the procedure was off. Branson's surgery was essential, but the surgery to remove his uncle's liver was elective and all non-essential surgeries were canceled in light of the pandemic.

Branson was told the hospital expected the coronavirus to peak in a few weeks, which could close the window on transplant surgeries for a year, he said.

Before Monday's news that his surgery is scheduled for next week, Branson feared he would have to wait for another donor.

He was preparing himself for the possibility that the clock would run out before he could find a solution.

"I feel that I have definitely lived much longer than anyone ever expected, and I've accomplished a decent amount of things, touched a few people, so even if that death sentence is the case I am willing to accept it," Branson said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 156673

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31987550
Washington21345216
Marion18579287
Clackamas13449190
Lane10343129
Jackson8525116
Umatilla769682
Deschutes600163
Yamhill379669
Linn360957
Malheur335458
Polk307744
Klamath280555
Douglas255055
Josephine238755
Benton235617
Jefferson197630
Coos154521
Union130319
Columbia127721
Wasco122126
Lincoln113720
Hood River107029
Morrow105014
Crook78018
Clatsop7786
Baker6669
Curry4316
Tillamook4222
Lake3826
Harney2776
Grant2271
Wallowa1435
Gilliam541
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00
Eugene
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 38°
Corvallis
Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 36°
Roseburg
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
North Bend
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 37°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events