Rare procedure splits donor liver between two women

Rare procedure splits donor liver between two women

When Roda Barnes met a new friend Monday at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, she invited her into her room on the hospital floor reserved for transplant patients.

“Come on in, Roda!” Barnes said.

She wasn't talking to herself. Barnes not three minutes earlier had embraced Bettina Dixon, a woman half her age whose abdomen now cradles the other half of the donor liver that Barnes received. On April 3, the women shared the organ in a very rare split-liver surgery performed by Dr. Christopher Anderson and Dr. Mark Earl.

Neither woman had set eyes on each other, had shared stories or hugs or sheer joy with each other, until a week after their surgery, when Dixon walked three doors down the hall to Barnes' room.

“I've been wondering about you this whole time,” Barnes, a 46-year-old medical laboratory worker from Vicksburg, told Dixon, 22, a Byram resident and student at Jones County Junior College.

“You look really good,” Barnes told Dixon. “You do, too,” said Dixon, who proclaimed them “sisters for life.”

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Learn resiliency to handle life’s stresses

Bow up. Get with the program. Grin and bear it. It is what it is.

Just deal with it.

It's what people might tell you when you're facing an adversity or stress that leaves you in uncomfortable and extraordinary circumstances. The way you adapt or change in the face of adversity, however, has everything to do with building the resiliency to withstand it, a University of Mississippi Medical Center wellness educator says.

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Learn resiliency to handle life’s stresses

People of the U: Carrie Dean

People of the U: Carrie Dean

Carrie Dean can't remember the first time she rode a horse in the same way most people don't remember taking their first steps. She was too young to remember.

“I always tell people I was rocked to sleep on a horse instead of a rocking chair,” said Dean, a junior at the University of Mississippi School of Nursing. “I didn't start competing until I was 5 or 6, but I pretty much have grown up on a horse.”

Dean, who is from the Fannin community of Brandon, competes in a sport known as team penning with organizations such as the American Quarter Horse Association, United States Team Penning Association and the Dixie Regional Team Penning Association.

Dean and her horse Remi, who is registered as Uno Sheza Cat, took home the gold in the 2016 AQHA Amateur Team Penning World Championships. It was her first time to compete as an amateur, but it wasn't her first world championship. She was the winner in the AQHA Youth Team Penning World Championships five years in a row before moving to amateur at age 18.

Dean was introduced to penning and sorting cattle on horseback in backyard pens with her father, maternal uncle and cousin. 

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Neurology chair emeritus, comparative research director, internal medicine expert earn national, statewide acclaim

UMMC's chair emeritus of neurology receives a distinguished service award from a neuro-ophthalmology organization, the Center for Comparative Research director is chosen to lead an international accreditation council, and an assistant professor of medicine is selected to head a state chapter of a national internists organization.  

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Neurology chair emeritus, comparative research director, internal medicine expert earn national, statewide acclaim
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