‘You View Life Differently:’ Gary and Robert’s Living Donation Story

Robert Healy had a young daughter, a new baby on the way, and a busy work schedule — plenty to keep him busy.

But a keen sense of dedication and love for his extended family motivated him to take one more challenge: Saving his father-in-law’s life.

While sitting in the kitchen on the phone with their family, Robert and his wife learned that her father, Gary, was sick and in need of a liver transplant.

Robert’s first response, “Can I be your donor?”

Learn more about living donor transplants at UPMC.

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“At first no one said anything. So, I asked again if I could do it,” Robert says. “I am sure they didn’t want to burden my wife or my family, but we’re family, so to me, it was a no-brainer.”

The number of people on the liver transplant waiting list grows each day and, unfortunately, those who do not have a living donor must continue to wait for a deceased donor’s organ to become available. But living liver donors like Robert ensure patients on the liver transplant list can receive a life-saving transplant sooner, before their disease progresses to a severe stage.

RELATED: Your Living Donor Transplant: 3 Steps to Finding a Living Donor

In 2016, Robert and Gary underwent a successful living-donor liver transplant. Today, they’re thriving.

“It feels great,” Gary says. “It was a gift, and you certainly view life differently once you have this done.”

About Transplant Services

Established in 1981, UPMC Transplant Services is one of the foremost organ transplant centers in the world. Our clinicians have performed more than 20,000 organ transplant procedures, including liver, kidney, pancreas, single and double lung, heart, and more. We are home to some of the world’s foremost transplant experts and have a long history of developing new antirejection therapies—so organ recipients can enjoy better health with fewer restrictions.