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2 mothers undergo China's first paired liver donation

Friday, Sep 14, 2012
China Daily/Asia News Network
By Wang Qingyun

"I didn't hesitate to say yes"

According to Li, there are about 30 children waiting for liver transplant surgeries in the hospital, most without a donor.

"Lack of donors has always been a bottleneck in liver transplants," he said. "Usually it takes three to five months to find a donor."

Finally, Luo found Yin Chunlin in an online chat group for parents whose children have the same problem.

Yin, 22, joined the chat group after giving birth to a son with the same liver disease in January.

Yin's husband was found to have liver problems a year ago and cannot donate.

Though Yin's type O blood allows her to donate her own liver tissue to her son, she agreed to provide it to Luo's baby after talking to Luo online and over the telephone.

"I didn't hesitate to say yes to Luo," said Yin, who brought her baby to the hospital on Aug 26. "By doing this we can save two children."

 

"Only mothers of such babies can feel what we feel," she said.

The surgeon Li believed Yin has made a reasonable choice.

Yin can donate her liver tissue to her son, but the transplant will be more successful if the donor also has type B blood, he said.

Current regulations stipulate that people can only donate organs to their spouses and relatives, or people who can prove they are treated like family members.

However, there have been organ exchanges between unrelated people.

In 2008, family donors of two uremia patients exchanged donations to match the patients' blood types in a hospital in Hainan province.

Responding to the controversy, organ transplant authorities in the Ministry of Health came to the conclusion that what the two families did was legal.

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(Photos: AFP, Reuters, Internet, Youtube screengrabs)