updated 6/7/2006 9:58:48 AM ET 2006-06-07T13:58:48

Early morning telephone calls to transplant surgeon Bhargav Mistry’s home are not uncommon, but one last week about a donor organ was special: A liver had been found for his ailing 11-year-old daughter, Karishma.

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By Tuesday, Karishma was recovering from the surgery. She has a slight fever but could be out of the hospital by the weekend, doctors said. From her hospital bed, she said, “I feel good.”

The Mistrys had been waiting for the call since October, when doctors told them Karishma needed a new liver. She suffers from a condition called biliary atresia, a disease that causes liver failure. She was born without a gall bladder.

The family made the four-hour drive from their Fargo home to the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, Fairview in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. The surgery began about 11:30 p.m., and was complete the next morning.

“She already is feeling a little better and has more energy than she had before,” said her mother, Bhanu Odedra-Mistry, who like her husband is a physician at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo.

The girl’s parents have said they hope their daughter’s story can help increase awareness about organ donation for children. Nearly 92,000 people nationwide are waiting for organ donations, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, which administers the nation’s transplant and donation network. Of those, 2,000 are children ages 17 and younger.

“Adults can mark it on the driver’s license and that gives them a chance to think about it,” her mother has said. “But for children, who knows about it?”


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