Liver transplant patient travels across the world to Chicago for life-saving surgery

A Chicago hospital is getting worldwide recognition for its organ transplant program.

Patients travel from around the globe to receive life-saving treatment at Northwestern Medicine. One of those patients is Mohamad Alhosani.

In 2021, Alhosani received a liver cancer diagnosis. His treatment mandated an organ transplant. His home country, the United Arab Emirates, paid for him to fly to Chicago and undergo that transplant at Northwestern.

"I'm very happy after surgery," said Mohamad.

His donor was just a call away.

"Our religion encourages us to do this thing, to help each other," said Mohamad’s uncle, Abdulrahman Alhosani.


The two men, just a few years apart in age, share many things. Now, that includes a liver.

"We have the largest liver transplant program in Illinois and one of the largest in the country," said their doctor, Juan Caicedo, the Liver Transplant Program Director at Northwestern Medicine.

It was the first hospital in the world to perform a minimally invasive liver transplant from a living donor. The donor was able to go home in less than three days.

"The liver is a fantastic organ, that can regenerate. We can remove up to seventy percent of the liver in somebody healthy and in three months the liver will grow back to almost normal size," said Dr. Caicedo.

The liver, along with the kidneys, lungs and pancreas can be harvested from living donors, with no harm to that donor. The success rate for transplantation from a living donor is nearly 100 percent, a little higher than patients who receive an organ from a deceased donor.

"I'm encouraging to donate a part of the liver or the kidney because it's a simple thing," said Aldulrahman.

"Liver transplantation is a life-saving procedure…and without transplant there's no hope for many of these patients. They die… Living donation saves lives and can be done," added Dr. Caicedo.

Mohomad will stay in Chicago for three months before heading home, so doctors can monitor his new organ.