Sons draw straws for chance to do­nate liver for ill fa­ther

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The life of a Tai­wanese man suf­fer­ing liver can­cer was saved af­ter un­der­go­ing a living donor trans­plant pro­ce­dure re­plac­ing his liver with the one do­nated from his son, who was se­lected from a pool of three other sons by drawing lots.

Wu Chen-hsiang, a 63-year-old Taichung na­tive, was di­ag­nosed with liver can­cer and se­vere cir­rho­sis last May and thus needed a liver trans­plant. Upon learn­ing the news, all of his sons ex­pressed a wish to do­nate parts of their liv­ers to save their fa­ther’s lives.

“We only have one fa­ther. Who would do­nate a liver if we don’t?” the sons said.

Wu’s sec­ond son was later found not qual­i­fied to be a donor due to fatty liver dis­ease. The third son was cho­sen as the donor af­ter the draw was held.

Af­ter the son’s blood and tis­sue types were con­firmed com­pat­i­ble with his fa­ther, doc­tors per­formed the trans­plant surgery April 2 at China Med­i­cal Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal in the cen­tral city of Taichung.

It took 12 hours to trans­plant two thirds of the son’s healthy liver to re­place his fa­ther’s ail­ing liver.

Jeng Long-bin, the main physi­cian per­form­ing the surgery, said that a new liver was the best treat­ment for Wu. The doc­tor was said to be touched by the love shown by Wu’s sons.

To per­form a liver trans­plant, doc­tors will con­sider the donor’s health con­di­tion and choose the liver that best fits the re­cip­i­ent, Jeng said.

“I only have one fa­ther. There are no sec­ond thoughts (on do­nat­ing my liver to my fa­ther),” the son, who do­nated parts of his liver, was quoted as say­ing by a Thurs­day me­dia re­port in the Chi­nese lan­guage Lib­erty Times.

“I can hardly bear to see my son do this for me,” said Wu, while tears rolled down his cheek, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Wu is a fa­ther of five chil­dren: four sons and one daugh­ter. The fam­ily shares a close bond.

“They are all good chil­dren. They might have learned from my wife, who put in a lot of ef­fort to care for my mom,” Wu said. “I am re­ally lucky.”

As the son who do­nated the liver will need to rest for many weeks to re­cover, his broth­ers will help look af­ter his scooter re­pair shop and pre­pare nu­tri­tious meals for him and their fa­ther, the re­port said.

Ac­cord­ing to Jeng, the por­tion of the donor’s liver given to the re­cip­i­ent will grow back to nearly its full size in six months.


Wu Chen-hsiang and his son pose af­ter a suc­cess­ful liver trans­plant op­er­a­tion in Taichung, yes­ter­day. Af­ter Wu de­vel­oped liver can­cer, all four of his sons of­fered to do­nate parts of their liv­ers. The sons drew straws, with the sec­ond youngest son re­ceiv­ing the honor, drawing ac­claim from the nurs­ing staff.

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