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Kula woman plans move to mainland to find liver donor

A Maui woman may soon move far away from the Valley Isle – relocating in the heart of the continental U.S. All for a new liver.

“I remember I woke up just feeling really horrible,” said Jessica Vares. “My body was aching. I couldn’t keep anything down. Fever, everything.”

24-year-old Vares might’ve felt horrible, but the early morning call she got from her doctors was even worse.

“They woke me up bright and early and basically told me that my liver’s failing and I need another transplant,” she said.

Jessica needs another liver – her third.

“Here we go again.”

She lives in Kula but comes to Oahu for appointments, often with her mom, Laurie. Doctors tell her she was born with an abnormality that can lead to liver failure.

At 7 weeks old, doctors tried to slow down the progression by operating on her. Then at 2 and a half years old, she got a liver transplant. And for roughly 20 years it worked.

Now, the ordeal begins again.

“Nobody told my mom that I would ever need a second transplant,” said Vares. “And so we thought once I was transplanted, I was done. I wouldn’t have to go through all this again, but now I have to.”

“Are you disappointed?” “Yeah,” she responded.




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