Local woman seeks liver donor

  • Monica Briones and a priest from Spain who saw the family’s appeal on the internet. He was ruled out as a donor, but is seeking to help in the search. [family photo]

    Monica Briones and a priest from Spain who saw the family’s appeal on the internet. He was ruled out as a donor, but is seeking to help in the search. [family photo]

By Patric Hedlund

About six months after opening the bustling little Alive Boutique on Mt. Pinos Way in Frazier Park, Monica Davila Briones told her daughter Erika Alvarez that she was suddenly feeling very ill.

As the family celebrated their first year in business during the Holiday Faire this past Saturday, Dec. 7, Alvarez explained that her mother is now on the USC Keck Medical Center recipient list for a liver transplant.

“My mom got hepatitis from a transfusion in a hospital 18 years ago, when she was there because of a miscarriage,” Alvarez said. Her brother Joshua explained that the USC list is for people who are almost dying, but that if they can find a healthy donor themselves, their mom can be helped sooner.

“The doctors told us if we can find a healthy person who is a match to donate a piece of their liver, it will grow back in them and also help my mom,” he explained.

In live liver donation, a piece of a healthy person’s liver is transplanted into the recipient.  The liver regenerates itself in both the donor and recipient after the transplant. Both the donated segment and the remaining section of the donor liver grow to normal size within weeks.

Joshua and his sister were ruled out as matches.  Erika put out an appeal on the internet, and a retired priest from Spain came to try to help, she said. He was not a match, but he has stayed with the family to help them find a match.

“We do not want to wait until she is almost dying,” Joshua said. He added that if the family can find a healthy donor, all medical expenses will be covered along with a few months of rent and living expenses to assist the person who donates.

They are searching in Mexico and in the U.S. “We are open to whatever can work,” Joshua Alvarez said. The family can be reached at 818-853-3572 or 818-271-8697.

The Mountain Enterprise confirmed the doctor mentioned in the interview, Dr. John A. Donovan, is a hepatogist practicing at USC Medical Center and that the medical facts noted here are accurate.

Photo captions:

Erika Alvarez with son Yurim, 2 and the flyer telling of the family’s quest to help her mother.

Monica’s grandchildren, who live in Frazier Park, Daniel,13 with Yurim, 2 and Yamilett,12.

Alive Boutique for Holiday Faire

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This is part of the December 13, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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