‘Now he literally has a part of me.’ Brother donates part of his liver to twin

On Jan. 17, 2023, Allen Besas gave Ethan Besas the ultimate gift of “brotherly love.”

Amanda Eustice

Apr 18, 2024, 10:00 PM

Updated 32 days ago

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Despite living 2,800 miles away from each other, Allen and Ethan Besas are anything but far apart.
"There is close, like best friends close, and then there's like Ethan to me...We did everything and...learned how to do life together," said Allen, who lives in San Diego.
And now they share a bond that goes far beyond being twins, let alone siblings.
For years Ethan, who now lives in Englewood, battled liver disease. He received his first transplant in 2014. But nine years after having the lifesaving surgery, he was in need of another transplant.
"People in my life had said, ‘Oh your eyes are a little yellow’ or ‘Oh your skin is a little yellow’...So I had an idea that it was going to be bad and then the lab results sort of confirmed that," Ethan said.
Wanting to help, all of his siblings tested. The results came back and his twin, Allen was a match. Ethan was reluctant at first to accept his brother's help.
"I was like, ‘I'm still young, my body is still pretty resilient, so maybe I can last on the list.’ Of course, my family was excited, but I had an idea and I knew what that might entail for him," Ethan said.
"A transplant and recovery, although it's obviously extensive, it feels minimal in comparison to seeing someone you care about so much handle such a hard thing throughout his whole life," said Allen.
So on Jan. 17, 2023, Allen gave Ethan the ultimate gift of “brotherly love” undergoing surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center to give his brother a portion of his liver.
The hospital system completed more than 500 living donor liver transplants.
"Patients who undergo a living donor transplant aren't as sick as their counterparts who have to wait for a deceased donor and they do a little bit better…We know a lot more information about the donor because they've undergone a full evaluation,” said Dr. Alyson Fox, medical director of the liver transplant program at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Months after the surgery, Ethan returned to his job as an oncology nurse, and became an avid rock climber, getting his life back.
"If it wasn't for my family, if it wasn't for my brother, I wouldn't be doing this and enjoying the things I get to enjoy, "said Ethan.
"This absolutely made us closer. Now he literally has a part of me, in him," said Allen.


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