After Carlos Rosales, 42, of Brentwood entered the hospital on Dec. 4 with advanced, life-threatening liver disease, his family knew that it would take a miracle for him to be home for Christmas.
On Wednesday, the family said their miracle had all but come true, as doctors at Sandra Atlas Bass Center for Liver Diseases at North Shore University Hospital announced the first successful liver transplant on Long Island — and that they expect Rosales will be home to celebrate Christmas with his family.
“I honestly believe Mr. Rosales would not have survived the week without this incredible gift,” said Dr. Lewis Teperman, director of organ transplantation at Northwell Health and vice chairman of surgery at NSUH. “He was hospitalized and in desperate need of a liver. It’s a somber moment any time an organ becomes available, but one person’s sacrifice can result in the gift of life to countless others.”
The same day that Rosales went into the hospital — and doctors saw the need to operate immediately — a donated liver became available to a man who the experts felt had only days to live.
“In this case, I fully expect 15-year-old Jalynn and 11-year-old Brandon to have their father around for many years to come,” Teperman said.
The Rosales story comes just six months after Northwell Health was approved by the state health department to operate Long Island’s first adult liver transplant program.
“My family has been by my side through this entire ordeal,” said Rosales, who appeared with his wife Kenia at a news conference in Manhasset Wednesday. “I couldn’t have done it without them. I’m grateful for this second chance I’ve been given. Thank you to the donor family and the incredible team at Northwell Health.”
At the news conference, the Rosaleses encouraged New Yorkers to become organ donors.