Family continues search for 2nd liver for local boy after recent possibility not a match

PITTSBURGH — A local family is continuing to hold onto hope that 10-year-old Lucas Goeller will soon receive a second liver.

The young boy, whose story Channel 11 has covered for most of his life, first received a liver at age 2. Unfortunately, the family shared in recent months that the organ is now failing.

Over the weekend, Lucas’ mom, Jessica Goeller, posted to their “Save Lucas” Facebook page that a friend of a friend “suffered an unspeakable tragedy and the family wanted to donate their loved ones liver directly to Lucas.”

But on Monday, Jessica told Channel 11 that their surgeons at UPMC Children’s Hospital informed her that this would not be a match for Lucas. The family remains grateful and hopeful.

“We believe that God has a plan, and last night, honestly, we were hoping and praying that this individual survives, even though we are waiting for a life-saving transplant,” she said. “It’s never easy to accept the fact that somebody has to pass away for your loved one to live. So, I do hope that this individual has a miraculous recovery and endless testimony about the goodness of God.”

Jessica said that this was far from the first time where a family stepped up intending to save Lucas.

“The amazing part is there’s been at least three other individuals and families who have tried to do the same thing, and the only reason why I know is because they had reached out to tell me that they were trying to directly donate to Lucas. For reasons that I don’t know, it just didn’t work out, and that’s ok. It’s just so beautiful that these families are thinking of Lucas and so many others.”

The Goellers, for many years, have used their story to spread awareness about organ donation and its ability to save multiple lives.

>>> Family raising awareness for organ donation as boy needs 2nd liver transplant

“I know at some point, Lucas, when it’s time, he’ll receive his perfect match. And until then, we’ll just continue to be hopeful that all will be well.”

An ideal living donor for Lucas would have type O blood, be between the ages of 20 to 49 and have a healthy BMI.

However, given Lucas’ unique situation and anatomy, his best option is receiving a liver from a deceased donor, his mom said.

If someone is faced with a tragic loss and would want to donate directly to Lucas, they could inform their local organ procurement recovery individual that they want to help Lucas in particular, which would prompt the organ procurement organization to take that offer to Children’s Hospital, where surgeons would evaluate the match, Jessica said.

She added, “if it’s not good for Lucas, still your legacy is going to live on through someone else, and that family is going to be just as grateful as we are, so it would be a beautiful thing either way.”

If you’d like to register to become an organ donor in Lucas’ name, click here.

If you’d like to register to become a living donor with UPMC, click here.

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