Longmeadow native in search of new liver after decades-long battle with rare disease

Longmeadow native in search of new liver after decades-long battle with rare disease
Published: Aug. 27, 2022 at 10:32 PM EDT
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LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - One Longmeadow native is in search of a new liver, following a years-long battle with a rare, chronic liver disease that he first was diagnosed with when he was just 6 years old.

Western Mass News spoke with Jack Bresnahan, now 30 years old, on what the future holds for him.

“We’ve tried every medication or remedy there is, and I’m short of getting a liver transplant,” he told us.

Jack grew up in Longmeadow and was diagnosed with a rare liver disease when he was 6 years old. Now, as his health declines, he is in need of a liver transplant.

“It’s called primary sclerosing cholangitis and it leads to liver failure,” he explained. “It’s autoimmune and genetic, so it’s something I was born with and it’s largely untreatable.”

Jack told Western Mass News that he has been on the donor list for 8 years and has not found a match yet amongst his family and friends.

“I’m listed at 2 centers right now, Mass Gen Hospital and Yale New Haven Hospital, and we’re asking for folks to call in and see if they might be a match,” Jack said. “We’ve tried multiple donors, and so far, nobody is a match. You never really know who that one match will be.”

Jack is now a teacher in Woonsocket, Rhode Island and told us that his disease has had a huge impact on his career.

“Kids are coming back to school this week,” he said. “I’m an elementary school teacher and it’s been… I want to be there for my kids and be a good teacher and do what I love, but it’s been difficult to even just work part-time, let alone full time.”

He told us he also recently got engaged to his long-term girlfriend this summer.

“I want to be a healthy husband to her,” he said. “I want to one day have a family with her and be present for my kids.”

Now, Jack is hoping for an act of kindness, so he can live the life he has dreamed of.

“I’ve lost most of my 20s due to this disease, and so, personally, I would be able to work full-time,” he told us. “We’re looking for folks out of the kindness of their hearts.”

You can learn more on how you may help by checking out Jack’s DONOR page or on the donation site his family has created.