Daniel Constantinidi, Nicollette Brown and Sam Dalkin
North Branford High School
2:56 PM EST, January 10, 2013
Hepatitis C is a life threatening disease which inflames the liver, and Joseph Sansone was unlucky enough to get such a disease. A North Branford resident, Sansone was on the waiting list for a liver for ten years and with each day, he became more ill. Sherry Delgaudio, a North Branford resident also, heard about Sansone's illness and went to see if she and her husband could be a possible match. The results showed that Mrs. Delgaudio's husband, Jeff Delgaudio, was a possible match indeed.
After much deliberation, Jeff Delgaudio decided he would donate part of his liver. Sansone now had a chance to get better. Mr. Delgaudio went for screening to see if he was healthy enough to donate, and testing showed that he had a dormant pathogen that needed to be treated before he could. It would take four months of antibiotics before Delgaudio would be healthy enough for the surgery. Delgaudio said, “It's like we gave them hope, and then took it away.” With each day, Mr. Sansone patiently waited, as he got progressively worse. “We told them we could donate in four months, but all they heard was, 'Jeff can't be a donor.'” Delgaudio said.
After those long months, Delgaudio was cleared by the doctors. He went into surgery knowing the risks and benefits of the operation. Immediately after the surgery ended, Mr. Sansone started to produce bile, a positive sign that the operation was a success. He continues to improve every day. Eleven weeks after surgery, Mr. Delgaudio ran a 5k fundraising race for organ donation. Delgaudio was also recently named North Branford's Person of the Year. For more information about organ donating, go to www.donatelife.org.
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