Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mother saves daughter with liver transplant


An eight-month-old baby with liver cancer, whose only chance of survival was a transplant, has been saved by her own mother who donated a quarter of her kidney in the first ever liver transplant from a live donor to be performed in the Comunidad Valenciana.

Details of the operation that was performed at the Hospital La Fé in Valencia on June 3rd were released today by José Mir, head of the Liver Transplant and Surgery Unit and Juan Galán, transplant coordinator for the hospital.

The baby's mother, María José Jordá, herself a doctor, has already been released from hospital and is doing well, as is baby Eva, who will need only minmal immunosuppression treatment since her liver comes from a close blood relative.

Both parents were tested for compatibility with their daughter and the child's mother said she had 'no doubt' about going ahead with the operation, despite being told that there was 'small risk' (the operation is fatal in 0.2% of cases). There was a real risk of the baby developing metastases at which point a transplant would have been impossible.

The operation took ten hours and involved 18 members of La Fé's medical team, with the baby's operation being especially complicated because of her small size.

According to Mir, the donor will be able to regenerate her liver and the addition of healthy liver tissue will enable the baby's liver to recover, giving her a much better quality of life than she has enjoyed so far.

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