NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s Father’s Day Weekend, and one dad in New York is especially grateful.
He’ll be celebrating with his young son who is here thanks to his dad and a life saving operation.
As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported, Jacob Ortiz and his dad are no regulars on the playground, but just 6 months ago the 2-year-old was deathly ill.
“We were very scared. It was a very dark time in our life,” Jose Ortiz said.
Jacob was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare liver disease.
“The bile ducts don’t form properly. There’s no way for bile to get out of the liver and the liver becomes diseased, and ultimately fails,” Dr. Sander Florman, Director of Transplant Institute at Mount Sinai, explained.
After several unsuccessful treatments, doctors said Jacob urgently needed a new liver, but an organ his size rarely becomes available.
Jacob’s dad gave his son a piece of his own liver.
“When you see your child in need, you want to do what you can to help out as much as possible,” Jose said.
Dr. Sander Florman is the director of Transplant Institute at Mount Sinai.
“We need an artery, a vein, a bile duct, but we can split the liver in a way that we can actually use part of a liver to transplant a child,” Dr. Florman said.
Doctors removed about 25 percent of Jose’s liver, and gave it to Jacob. A piece of that liver will regenerate and grow along with Jacob for the rest of his life.
“I’m just grateful, honestly that I was able to do this,” Jose said.
“I wish that I could give him a parade. He deserves everything,” Cynthia Ortiz said.
This Father’s Day, Jose is being celebrated for giving Jacob life twice.