Southern Rock Icon Gregg Allman Recovering From Liver Transplant
Co-founder of the legendary southern rock Allman Brothers Band underwent a successful liver transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, after a long battle with hepatitis C.
Allman, 62, has been on a transplant waiting list when he got word Wednesday morning that a donated organ was available and the surgery was immediately scheduled. Allman began treatments for hepatitis C in late 2007. Doctors recommended the transplant because of chronic damage to his liver from the disease, the statement said.
Allman told Billboard that the disease "was laying dormant for awhile and just kind of crept up on me. I was worn out. I had to sleep 10 or 11 hours a day to play two or three (hours). It's just one of those things that sneaks up on you and will just kind of ride you for as long as you don't know you have it."
Dr. Denise M. Harnois, Allman’s physician, said Allman has a form of hepatitis C that could be eradicated by the healthier new liver. The new liver could also work better with therapy if the virus returns.
“He has a favorable genotype, so he has a good chance of responding to therapy if it is needed in the future,” she said.
Allman’s brother Duane Allman, a guitarist for the band, was killed in a motorcycle accident on Macon’s Hillcrest Avenue in 1971, and bassist Berry Oakley was killed a year later just a few blocks away after another motorcycle accident. Greg is happy oto be alive and well to receive this organ.
Harnois said hepatitis is the leading reason people get liver transplants in the United States and there are over 16,000 Americans were waiting for a liver. Allman’s liver transplant was one of 80 at the Mayo Clinic in Florida so far this year.
"I changed my ways years ago, but we can't turn back time," Allman said. "Every day is a gift, and I can't wait to get back on the road making music with my friends."
Allman won’t be attending a Saturday benefit at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago, but Allman Brothers guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks will perform.
"I feel pretty good, considering everything that's happened," Allman said in the statement, "All I can really say is 'thanks.”