Del. paramedic celebrates holidays with family – and a new liver

Paramedic Nick LaBrie is recovering from liver transplant surgery after a brush with death earlier this year

By EMS1 Staff

KENT COUNTY, Del. — A Delaware paramedic with an autoimmune disease made it home for the holidays after receiving a long-awaited liver transplant.

Paramedic Nick LaBrie was put on life support last month after reaching a “critical point” in the chronic autoimmune hepatitis he had lived with since childhood, according to a GoFundMe page organized by Labrie’s sister. LaBrie regained consciousness about a week later to find that donors had contributed more than $25,000 to help pay his medical bills.

“He now knows how much has been raised and how many people have supported him. He is humbled,” Michelle LaBrie Matthews wrote in an update on Nov. 29. “Here’s hoping the good news keeps coming.”

It did.  A little over a week later, on Dec. 8, a donor became available and LaBrie underwent a 6-hour surgery, emerging with a new liver.

“Someone in our region gave the gift of life, and from our understanding, likely saved multiple other lives,” Matthews wrote.

Since then, multiple updates have been posted on his recovery process, and on Dec. 22, he was able to return home in time to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with his family.

LaBrie works as a paramedic at the Kent County Levy Court Department of Emergency Services, and his coworkers have supported him during his treatment, including by donating their paid leave time.

As of Dec. 30, LaBrie’s GoFundMe page has raised $31,425, nearly $1,500 more than its goal.

“We are so lucky to make it to this point after the past 2 months,” Matthews wrote on Christmas. “Words can never express (how) thankful we are for all the generous gifts, donations, thoughts and prayers.”

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