Son, dad undergo lifesaving liver transplant ahead of Father's Day

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

A son gave his dad the gift of life just in time for Father's Day.

Rich Pustorino was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 19. Decades later, he developed a related condition that damaged his liver. The 55-year-old from Garden City says his health started to decline about five years ago and was in dire need of a liver transplant.

Tom Pustorino, 26, says it was difficult to watch his father's health decline. Out of three sons, Tom was a perfect match and donated 65% of his liver.

But Rich was hesitant.

"As a father, your job is to take care of them, not have them take care of you," he says.

The family eventually decided the transplant between the father and son was the best option.

Tom and his dad had the liver transplant surgery on Tuesday. Doctors say it was a complex procedure that lasted nearly 10 hours.

The two will be celebrating Father's Day recovering at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Doctors say they're doing well.

Within the past few weeks, aside from donating part of his liver, Tom married his high school sweetheart and graduated from medical school. He says he's going to study internal medicine and will hopefully do a gastroenterology fellowship.

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