Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first liver transplant with an emotional reunion. On July 7, 2001, Elizabeth Said became the first liver transplant patient at Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant. Exactly 20 years later, she came back to thank the staff, physicians, and the organ donor whose last gift was an organ donation.

“I remember at first I was scared. I didn’t want to be the guinea pig for a new transplant program,” said Elizabeth. “But when I met the doctors, I realized that your medical team would do everything in their power to save me, and they have done that for 20 years now.”

Elizabeth expressed her gratitude toward the surgical team, nurses, leaders, the lab team, and liver transplant program. She told the group that as a mother of six she prayed that God would allow her to see all her children grow up. In the past 20 years, she has watched her children grow up, and start their lives. Now she’s watching her grandchildren grow up as well. Several of her children and two grandchildren attended the event to support her, and thanked the medical team for saving her life.

During the event, Chaplain Ish Garibay with Pastoral Care Services at Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant blessed five liver-shaped pillows created by hospital volunteers and given to patients to help bring comfort after surgery. He also blessed the staff and physicians who care for all the patients during their times of need.

Members of the Liver Transplant team with Elizabeth

Dr. Preston Foster, the transplant surgeon who performed Elizabeth’s liver transplant in 2001, is now the surgical director of the program. In the past 20 years, the Methodist Transplant Institute Liver Transplant Program has performed more than 700 liver transplants and consistently has one of the best survival rates in transplants in Texas and in the U.S. Our nationally recognized transplant program is only possible because of the countless individuals who choose to donate life by becoming an organ donor.

“I encourage everyone to consider registering to become an organ donor,” said Jeff Wilson, chief executive officer of Methodist Hospital | Specialty and Transplant. “What we see every day at our hospital is the tremendous impact that decision has on our patients’ lives and on our lives as caregivers.”

Learn more about organ donation.