Catherine Herridge Fights to Save Her Son's Life

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," June 5, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Catherine Herridge, a FOX News correspondent, and her husband want you to know that love is indeed powerful. Catherine is doing something probably every mother would should she face this particular crisis. She is donating part of herself to save her baby boy, Peter.


VAN SUSTEREN: Where are we?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: This is inside the Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. I've been here a couple of times and Peter's up on the seventh floor. Hi.

VAN SUSTEREN: When did you actually make the decision that this was going to go forward?

C. HERRIDGE: I'd say it was maybe, maybe a month ago, a month ago would you say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say this yes.

C. HERRIDGE: For the transplant because Peter started having more trouble, started having more fluid down in his belly.

VAN SUSTEREN: What was it like when they told you that you were the best donor?

C. HERRIDGE: You know, it was a very strange feeling because once I got into the process I realized that it was not an easy thing to donate because there are a lot of things that can exclude you along the way.

And so, halfway through the process I felt like "God, I really hope I'm going to be OK to donate because if I can't, I don't know who we're going to ask to do this." And then when they said to me that they thought I was really ideal to donate, I felt like it was meant to go that way for us. Oh, and here's Dr. Mazariegos, hi. Good, nice to see you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Whose doctor is this? Is this your doctor or Peter's doctor?

C. HERRIDGE: Peter's doctor. This is Peter's doctor.

VAN SUSTEREN: Hi, nice to meet you. How big is this piece that he's going to get?


VAN SUSTEREN: For those of those who went to school and didn't get enough education how big is that?

MAZARIEGOS: It will be a piece a little bit bigger than my hand.

VAN SUSTEREN: The center of your hand or your whole hand?

MAZARIEGOS: It will be probably about three-quarters of my hand.

VAN SUSTEREN: He's going to get that big a piece from her?

All right, so at seven o'clock she goes in. An hour and a half later you begin your work. You get the liver probably at what time?

MAZARIEGOS: It will probably be about noon.

VAN SUSTEREN: And you're working constantly on him until noon?

MAZARIEGOS: Right. We'll work fairly steadily until that time. Generally it takes — it generally will pretty well coordinate and we'll be working through that time and then wait until we know that everything is good with the donor and then bring the liver over.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, at noon you get the liver and then how long before you're finished?

MAZARIEGOS: The removal of the liver, which is called a hepatectomy, is the most time consuming part and that will take four hours or so perhaps while we're working with mom to do.

Once the liver is out then it only takes about 30 or 40 minutes to sew the liver in, and we hook up the connections to the liver, which are veins and arteries. And then re-profuse the liver with Peter's blood system, so that beings to flow. And, as soon as that happens, then the liver we hope and we see begins to function right away.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, doctor. I feel much better. I mean this is not why I came here to feel better but I feel much better having a little information.

C. HERRIDGE: When you're doing the surgery you've done a lot of tests on me already, once you get in there can there be surprises which...

DR. AMADEO MARCOS, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH MEDICAL CENTER: There can always be surprises and that's why you're asking how do we time the surgery. The baby will not go in the room until we're sure that you will be a donor.


MARCOS: OK, so with the new techniques we have, we have eliminated surprises. I want you to know that you are the priority in this, and I'm very aware of the issue with your baby but you are independent from his well being.

C. HERRIDGE: Well, you know, I've thought about the issue of what might happen if it doesn't work for him and I just feel like, you know, sort of like what you said. I mean I feel like there's nothing really left for me to do.

MARCOS: Right. You're doing more than enough.


MARCOS: OK, more than enough and this is — all donors are heroes. This is an ultimate step here. You're putting your life at risk.

C. HERRIDGE: Yes, because I feel like, you know, he's had a couple of surgeries already and I feel like, you know, I feel like this is really the first time that I'm going to understand his pain of it because, you know, it's a big operation for me. It's bigger though for him.

VAN SUSTEREN: You're Catherine's father?


VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, so you're the lucky father.

W. HERRIDGE: Well, yes I am. Yes, I am. I'm a little down on my luck right now but, yes, over the long term I've been very lucky.

VAN SUSTEREN: I suppose, you mean that because tomorrow your daughter goes into surgery.

W. HERRIDGE: Yes and the grandchild too. I have more anxiety for the grandchild than I do for Catherine.

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean obviously you worry. This is your grandson.


VAN SUSTEREN: This is your daughter. But you have a sense of optimism and hope.

R. HERRIDGE: Oh, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know what are the words to describe it?

R. HERRIDGE: That's right. You have because I know that as you go through life — and I'm not as young as I was — you have a lot of things that go on. Twisting around a little bit, yes. You've had enough experience to know that when you pray you don't always get the answers you want but you can trust God.

C. HERRIDGE: Yes, you are, you're such a nice baby, love you.


VAN SUSTEREN: Seven a.m. tomorrow in Pittsburgh, Catherine and her infant son, Peter, begin their surgery. Of course, we're going to update you throughout the night.

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