Friday, December 31, 2004

STAR-LEDGER: "A Miracle In The Form Of A Liver"

Folks - since we couldn't set an electronic link, I'm
typing in Paula Saha's Around The Towns column from
Thursday Dec. 30 Star-Ledger Morris Towns edition.

Here's the full story:

''It's a wonderful life,'' wrote David C. Bird of Long
Hill Township in a posting on his Web site on Dec. 26.

That's not just homage to the movie that is so popular
at this time of year. It is the exhilaration of a man
who is returning home whole to his family.

Since July, Bird, 46, had been suffering from a severe
form of hepatitis that doctors believe he picked up on
a business trip to Beirut. Bird, a correspondent for
Dow Jones Newswires and father of two, needed a liver

Early this month, the family put out a plea for a
living donor, someone who would be willing to give
half of their liver to Bird. But before anyone could
be matched, Bird's illness grew so severe that he
became ineligible for a living donor.

Ironically enough, the sicker he got, the better his
chances became of getting a liver. He became so ill
that he was placed at the top of the waiting list, and
on Dec. 20, he received one.

''He had a liver transplant,'' his wife, Nancy Bird,
said breathlessly. She paused, as the import of what
she said sunk in, and began to weep.

''They found him a liver and he had the surgery and
he's doing great...It's a Christmas miracle.''

For the next week, he recovered at the New York
University Medical Center. On Christmas Day, they
moved him out of the intensive care unit and into a
room with a view and a phone.

The whole experience has been incredible for the Bird
family. Nancy Bird recalled that when they were
looking for a living donor - the put together a flier
and distributed it through friends and other
organizations - they got responses from eight people.

Four of them were friends. Two were friends or
of friends; two were just random people who heard
about their plight, were the right blood type and
wanted to help.

''We never, ever approached somebody, but we were just
amazed at the number of people the came forward,''
said Nancy Bird. ''There are just some really amazing
brave people out there that want to help, they're
truly altruistic. They're heroes in our hearts.''

In his posting on the Web log at this Web site
(, David thanks the ataff of NYU
Medical Center and makes a pledge: ''Now that my world
has been reshaped, I have plans to reshape the world
on behalf of organ donor awareness. There is a great
bumper sticker here at the hospital that reads,
''Don't take your organz to heaven. Heaven knows we
need them here.''

Thanks to Paula at or
We excuse the small error on the date of the
transplant, which took place Dec. 19 - my new
birthday! - not Dec. 20.

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