San Antonio doctor donates liver to his longtime patient, friend

San Antonio – Pulmonologist Dr. Mark Chalabi knows how to keep secrets. And he had a good reason.

His longtime patient and friend Serena Irons learned that the hepatitis she had conquered also destroyed her liver.

Instead of offering compassion alone, Chalaby was tested at the University Health Transplant Institute to see if it was suitable for becoming a living donor.

“I couldn’t think of any more people,” Chalabi said.

Irons, 68, donated time and energy to a missionary trip to Mexico and once persuaded Chalabi to join her. It was then that the friendship was solidified as they worked hand in hand to provide life-saving medical care to the villagers.

Irons were running out of time after being on the liver donor list. She was told she needed a liver to survive, and living donors were becoming the only option. Irons said she had little hope.

“Why do people do this for me? This is a major surgery,” she said.


Chalabi knew more than anyone else the consequences of being a major organ donor, but her plight urged him to register. Knowing that he was a match, he agreed to donate a portion of his liver and asked for his donation to be anonymous.

As the process approached the transplant date, Irons wondered who her miracle donor was and was eventually discovered by chance. The truth was revealed when I happened to meet Chalabi in the waiting room of the clinic before the transplant.

“All I said was,’Are you you?’ And he said,’Yes.’ Then we hugged, “she said in tears.

Chalabi was just as emotional, saying, “I didn’t think she would accept it because I knew I was her doctor and father. So I didn’t want her to know. bottom.”

Receiving a live donation is the fastest way for a patient to have a kidney or liver transplant. That’s because no donor has died as many as the number of people on the transplant waiting list. And every year, the waiting list for transplants gets longer.


“I call him my superman, my hero, and now we’re connected for the rest of our lives. We’re a family,” Irons said.

The University Health Transplant Institute is the only place in southern Texas that offers living transplants from living donors.

Click here for more information on how to donate.

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San Antonio doctor donates liver to his longtime patient, friend

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