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Co-workers Back Home, and Healthy, After Liver Transplant Surgery 

Two friends and co-workers at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth are back home in Maine and recovering well. This, after one donated a part of her liver to save her friend’s life.”I tried to talk her out of being a donor a few times because I knew it was going to be a huge ordeal. And I couldn’t sway her,” Jan Watson says. Jan found out in December she’d need a liver transplant because of a rare disorder affecting her blood vessels.”She asked and I said yes. She needed it,” says Deb Hubbard. It turned out her good friend was a perfect match as a donor. Then it became real.”My surgeon came in the room and, she doesn’t know this, but he said in reality it wasn’t going to be long for her. And I didn’t know that,” Deb says.The transplant happened in April at Yale Medical Center in Connecticut. There were complications. But now, they’re back to cracking jokes like always.”I don’t have words to express that gratitude. And so we tend to joke it off…but I wouldn’t be here,” Jan says. Jan, a nurse and mother to four children, says saying ‘thank you,’ doesn’t quite suffice.”Her dad cried and said he loved her so much. He couldn’t thank me enough. And that’s when it hits home,” Deb says. “To listen to the gratitude in his voice when he speaks of her…I think that encompasses how I feel,” Jan says.Deb says she would do it again.”When I was in the transplant unit, I saw the faces of the people who are still waiting. I saw the families,” Deb says. “When you look at that face, of a wife or a husband and they aren’t sure if their loved one is coming home, it’s easy. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”It will take both women many months to recover. But they say they’re thankful to have the support of so many people at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital. And of course, happy to have each other.