The 65-year-old Russian man was diagnosed with hepatitis C and cancer, and would have died if he didn’t get the liver transplant. He traveled to the United States and paid $500,000 for the transplant. The liver came from a 38 year old black man. What happened next left everyone, including doctors, perplexed.
“I noticed that his skin was getting darker,” said Igor Atamanenko, life-long friend of 65-year-old, Semen Gendler. “When he told me they had given him the liver of an African-American man, I guess that was probably the reason for the color change.
“I have known my friend for years, and he has always been if anything extremely pale, and now for the first time ever he is becoming dark-skinned.”
Gendler does not mind the change.
“I could end up much darker than this, to be honest,” he said. “I don’t care. The main thing is that the liver works and I am healthy.”
Gendler says doctors are at a loss as to what is causing the color change.
“It’s incredible,” he said. “I am now so full of energy and living between two cities in New York and Krasnodar, and if my skin ends up dark, who cares? I certainly don’t.”