On September 6, 2018, 62-year-old Sandra Levine was given a second chance at life when she had a successful liver transplant at Broward Health Medical Center.
Levine had contracted cirrhosis during a blood transfusion years before when she had difficult labor with her son. She recalls that she did not display any symptoms for decades until she started to experience abnormal pain in late 2016.
During her job as a hairdresser, she said, “I was working through the pain.” She came to Broward Health Medical Center and started working with the South Florida Transplant Center.
As the first liver transplant center in Broward County, the South Florida Transplant Center offers a multidisciplinary medical team approach that includes hepatologists, gastroenterologists, liver transplant surgeons, anesthesiologists, diagnostic and pathology expects, advanced care nurses and patient support staff. Since 2004, the center has performed more than 300 liver transplants.
“I was so happy. I felt a lot of care and felt very human again. I was comfortable,” Levine recalls.
In February, Levine was placed on the transplant list after an extensive evaluation process that included a thorough clinical report and met with the team’s liver transplant surgeon, hepatologist, dietician, social worker and pharmacist.
It would be several months later when she received her liver transplant in September 2018. According to Cosme Manzarbeitia, MD, Director of Abdominal Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery at the South Florida Transplant Center, “Sandra's surgery was smooth. We are all very happy for her and she is doing very well. Her liver is working fine.”
Levine would spend seven days in the hospital and then was released for rehabilitation.
She returned to her job as a hairdresser almost 6 months later.“My experience at Broward Health Medical Center was among the best. I trust their decisions because they explained every step to me and their doctors and team were there for me,” said Levine. “I was able to recover quickly. I feel much better. I was dying and they saved me. I have a new perspective on life.”