Judge learned of transplant on short notice

Monday, September 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch had only a few hours' notice that he would receive a liver transplant at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Matsch, who was told Sunday morning to prepare for surgery, had the five-hour operation later in the day. He was in fair and stable condition at the hospital Monday, officials said.

News of his health was raising spirits at the U.S. District Court in Denver, said Clerk of the Courts James Manspeaker.

The judge called his office Monday morning, but Manspeaker said he didn't know if Matsch was working from the hospital.

Matsch, who oversaw the Oklahoma City bombing trials in Denver, was not allowed to receive telephone calls, visitors or flowers or other gifts.

``He is going to need to get some rest, so it would be best if he could be not disturbed for a while,'' hospital spokesman George Carnes said.

Matsch, 71, was expected to remain in the hospital one or two weeks. He had primary sclerosing cholangitis, an inflammatory condition that restricts bile ducts, causing a buildup of fluid that can lead to infections.

He was hospitalized twice last month with infections caused by the progressive liver disease.

He was placed on a transplant waiting list last year.