It Could Be One of Us

She was in a lot of pain.

Karen Basinet was only 30 years old when she found out her liver had been “eaten” by a benign tumor, known as focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH). The tumor was taking over the middle and lower left portions of her liver. (Just so you have an idea, the average size of a liver is 13.5 cm and it weighs 2.6 lbs. Get the picture? It’s pretty big!)

After a painful liver reconstruction procedure and leaving three kids at home while she was recovering in the hospital, Karen was having trouble with her liver’s regeneration. As a result, her inferior venial cava (IVC) – one of the two large veins that carries deoxygenated blood from the body into the right atrium of the heart – developed a mass around it, affecting the blood flow to her heart. This led to open heart surgery, only 28 days after her initial liver surgery.

Karen says, “I’m lucky to be here.” We are lucky to have her here as well! Since March, Karen has been offering hope at LifeGift as a donation clinical specialist and is healthy and happy to serve the community facilitating organ transplantation in the Texas Medical Center. 

Fortunately, she was never put on the waiting list for a new liver; every day others are. In Texas, 1,579 individuals are waiting for a liver transplant. Across the United States. that number is nearly 16,000.

October is National Liver Month. Love your life and love your liver! For more information on liver health, visit the American Liver Foundation at


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