CHICAGO (WBBM) — A 68-year-old local woman has received a liver donation from a member of her Northwest Side church.

Roberta Sturgill contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion in 1995. She was in need of a liver transplant, but thought all hope may be lost when her niece’s liver was rejected for being too small.

But Sturgill’s fortunes improved when her church, the Northwest Church of Christ, ran a story about her in its newsletter. Soon afterward, Dr. Michelle Bain, a fellow member of the congregation, stepped forward to donate. She was a match.

“We said it in a bulletin at church, and Michelle, she decided that she wanted to do this,” Sturgill said.

Bain, a Chicago dermatologist, took part in the so-called living donor program. She gave more than 50 percent of her liver to Sturgill.

“But the liver regenerates itself,” Sturgill said.

The living donor program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the leading in the country. Since its inception in 2007, more than 145 living donor transplants have been performed.

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