DAVID GREENE, HOST: This nation’s organ transplant network is considering a big change in how livers are distributed. The change would give people who need a transplant the same shot at getting one no matter where they live. But critics say this might end up harming some patients. NPR’s Rob Stein explains.
ROB STEIN, BYLINE: Vicki Hornbuckle’s 54 and lives in Snellville, Georgia. She used to play piano at her church, but that was before her liver started failing.
VICKI HORNBUCKLE: And I had to give it up because I couldn’t keep up. I couldn’t - didn’t have the energy to do three services on Sunday. You’re just too tired to deal with anything. And so it’s not a life that you want to live.
STEIN: But she hasn’t given up. She’s fighting to stay alive long enough to get a liver
HORNBUCKLE: I would like to see my grandchildren grow up. And my mother is still alive,
and it’s not fair to just, you know, to bury your children. It’s not supposed to work that way.
STEIN: Hornbuckle is one of more than 12,000 Americans waiting for a liver transplant
because they have conditions like hepatitis, cancer or cirrhosis ….