Matt Johnston

living liver donor

Donor Picture

There is nothing more terrifying for a parent than to have a child who is suffering with a serious illness, and perhaps the most difficult part of coping is being unable to remove the pain and uncertainty the sick child has to live with.
When our son, Curtis, was diagnosed at eight weeks old with Biliary Atresia, a potentially fatal liver disease, the news that he could possibly be cured by a transplant was a consolation to us, in the midst of our fears for him. A friend told us that they were even beginning to transplant livers from adult donors to children.

A few months later, with Curtis very sick from liver failure, we came to London Health Sciences Centre to be assessed for transplantation. The frightening reality that transplant candidates face is that they have to be sick enough to need a life-saving transplant, but still healthy enough to withstand major surgery. The wait for a donor organ is another stress added to the burden of the illness itself. In Curtis’ case, he was doubly lucky – he would need a transplant very soon, but he would be a candidate for a living-related liver transplant from his father, Matt, that could be done immediately and at the convenience of both patients and of the phenomenal medical staff who would be undertaking the surgeries.

What a great gift for a parent to be able to provide the only thing that would make a sick child better?

Curtis’ and Matt’s operations and recovery were successful, and today they are both truly grateful for the gift of life that they have shared.

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Last Updated July 24, 2008 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada