BALTIMORE, Md. - Former Baltimore police officer Gene Cassidy spoke Friday about the liver transplant he received three months ago that saved his life.
Cassidy, who was blinded after being shot in the line of duty 25 years ago, was in the end-stage cirrhosis caused by the hepatitis C virus that he contracted through a lifesaving blood transfusion from his wounds. He received a liver transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Cassidy spoke with Dr. John LaMattina, a University of Maryland transplant surgeon at the medical center.
Cassidy was shot twice in the head on Oct. 22, 1987 with a .357 Magnum while trying to arrest a suspect in West Baltimore and lost not only his sight but also his ability to smell and his sense of taste. He retired from active duty on the police force, but continues to be a law instructor at the Baltimore City police academy.
There are about 17,000 adults and children waiting for liver transplants in the United States, with not enough donated organs to meet the demand. Infection with the Hepatitis C virus, leading to end-stage liver disease, is a major reason that people require a liver transplant.
Last year, University of Maryland performed more liver transplants than any other hospital in Maryland.
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