News 12 Staff | Oct 08, 2020, 1:37pm EDT
A Bronx doctor helped saved her dad's life by donating part of her liver, and now she is helping others as a transplant surgeon.
Dr. Hillary Yaffe was a medical student 12 years ago when her father needed a liver transplant.
She says that her family was very fortunate to be able to have a living donor transplant for him.
Yaffe donated part of her liver to her father, and the experience also changed her career focus.
"It sparked my interest in being a transplant surgeon," Yaffe says. "Being able to serve part of the community that saved my dad."
Yaffe, a doctor at Montefiore Medical Center, says that 20% of people on the organ transplant wait list will die before getting an organ.
She says the medical community needs to find more ways to increase the organ donor pool.
Yaffe says it is important for patients in need of transplants to identify people who are willing to come forward and be screened for living organ donations.
She says that people can donate part of their liver, one kidney or part of their pancreas.
Yaffe says her personal experience helps her talk to patients who are considering being part of an organ donation.
"I just let them know that I was in that stretcher, I was in that bed at some point 12 years ago," Yaffe says. "And I know what they are going through."
Oct. 8 is National Organ Donor Enrollment Day. Information on a virtual event to celebrate can be found here.