GREEN BAY, Wis.(WFRV)- 2022 will mark the 32nd year since former WFRV anchor Erin Davisson received a liver transplant due to Wilson’s Disease. Local 5’s Eric Richards checked in with Davisson to see how she is doing today, after retirement.
“I am just loving it so much. You hear that from people who are retired, like I wish I would have done it a long time ago,” said Davisson. She recently shared a post on social media from 2018, in which she was depicted in a UW Health video about her life-saving liver transplant. In the late 1970s, she was diagnosed with the genetic disease, long before she arrived in Green Bay and WFRV.
“It’s a genetic illness that affects your liver, can affect your brain as well,” said Davisson. Her body didn’t metabolize copper, which basically migrated into her organs. “I was aware that I had it but it was managed with medicine in the years after I arrived in Green Bay to work in television,” she said.
In August of 1990, the condition worsened and she went onto the transplant list. A couple of months later, she received the new liver. ” The interesting thing about getting a liver transplant with Wilson’s Disease is that it cures the disease,” she said. Instantly she was cured and able to return to her career and life.
Dr. Tony D’Alssandro is Davisson’s Surgeon with UW Health Medison, who is still practicing currently, “Liver transplantation really is life-saving because 100% of patients on our list who don’t get a liver won’t survive,” said D’Alssandro. Life expectancy after a liver transplant is about 10-years. “As you can see, Erin has had a long productive career and life. Except for some taking of some medications is practically back to normal,” he said.
“I was given anniversaries. When you have a transplant, when you get to the five-year mark, you feel some relief. When you get to the 10-year mark, you feel like you’re doing good,” said Davisson.
Science and technology have provided necessary improvements to how transplants are handled. For example, recovery times are shorter these days, and now living liver donations are performed. ” Since Erin was transplanted we do live donor liver transplantation where someone can donate half of their liver. You don’t have to be related and you essentially take that person out of line waiting on a transplant,” said D’Alssandro.
As for what Davisson has been up to since retiring? She continues to spread the word about organ donation, along with being vocal about issues she is passionate about. “I’ve been volunteering for the Coalition to Save the Menominee River. It’s an environmental organization trying to stop the open metallic sulfide mine on the Menominee River,” she said.
The state of Wisconsin has a webpage with more information on how you can add your name to the donor registry, which you can visit here.