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'It would mean the world to me'

People needing transplants often face a long wait

August 24, 2019 Digital Media Exclusive

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Lorraine Skomo, a Center Township resident, needs a liver transplant and is seeking someone willing to donate who is a perfect match.

There are 7,253 people in Pennsylvania waiting for an organ transplant — the only chance to save their lives.

“It would mean the world to me,” said Lorraine Skomo, a Center Township resident who needs a liver transplant.

Skomo, a retired nurse with autoimmune cholangitis, is among Butler County residents who have waited over a year for a vital organ — trying to find a perfect match.

For the last 18 months, Lorraine and her husband, David, have explored multiple avenues to find a transplant donor for her liver — searching the internet, putting her plight on placemats in restaurants, hanging up posters, placing classified advertisements in the Butler Eagle, and even ordering a billboard.

“We haven't had any progress,” Skomo said. “I'm not getting better. I'm getting worse.”

In Sunday's Butler Eagle, readers are guided through the transplant process with insight on its impact from Skomo; Joseph Henricks of Butler, a retired Army police sergeant first class, who has colon cancer and needs donations of O-positive or O-negative blood; and Paul Raab of Butler who has received a heart transplant.

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