Considering the nature of my appeal, I realize it is a long shot but I have to try everything I can and want to believe that miracles do happen.
My husband has a rare liver disorder called Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) which is a chronic liver disease caused by progressive inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts of the liver. The inflammation in the gut leads to liver cirrhosis and liver failure. There are no known treatments for the disease except for liver transplantation.
In December of 2011 he was listed for a liver transplant at the Toronto General Hospital and is now on a waiting list for a deceased donor organ. However, his liver is very weak already and with the shortage of organs available and the expected wait time, his chances of survival before receiving such an organ are dim. I am writing this message in hope to find him aliving donor willing to give a gift of life.
The living donor transplantation allows for a shorter waiting time while the recipient is still reasonably well and able to have a faster recovery. It assures a lower risk of dying or being disqualified while waiting (patients on liver transplant lists have to wait for anywhere from 7 months to 4 years for a liver transplant). In addition, living donor transplantation allows for a planned operation that the donor and recipient can plan for (for a deceased donor organ, recipient may be called into operating room any day and time). But the most important factor is that 25% of patients on a waiting list will not survive until their surgery.
Constantin was diagnosed over five years ago. Since then, his liver condition has been worsening gradually as he suffered from the symptoms associated with the disorder. Over the past six months his condition has worsened considerably. His skin and eyes have become extremely yellow, his bilirubin levels are extremely high making him very itchy and uncomfortable, he has retained an excess of water in his belly which made him really bloated and his muscles are wasting to the point that he sometimes has trouble walking up the stairs or picking one of his children. Another complication is esophageal bleeding for which he has been admitted to the hospital in November and had to spend three days in intensive care unit. His energy level is very low and he has to rest a lot. In addition to physical problems, you can imagine that his spirits are really down. Hearing that there are people out there willing to help will truly comfort him.
It’s so heartbreaking to see a loved one in such a state. He is still very young (39) and has two little kids (4 and 2) who need their father by their side while they grow. I’ve been to as many doctors appointments as I could (with two little kids in hand) and have taken him to emergency rooms numerous times. It truly breaks my heart to see him in such state. This is why I am willing to try every possible way to spread my message and help him. Liver transplant is a life-saving procedure; this is the only way my husband will get his life back.
The only family he has in Canada is me and our two children. Right now we have one person who has agreed to test for compatibility, however, in addition to same blood type, other factors are taken into consideration, such as liver size and enzyme levels as well as potential donor health history. It is going to be extremely difficult to find a donor. Unfortunately, I am not suitable to be a donor since I have a different blood type so I am really left with no choice but to ask others to donate piece of their liver and give my husband a second life as soon as possible.
It is really stressful for our family and we’re all really worried and want to see him alive and well. By law, we are not allowed to offer a reward or incentive of any kind, so all I can do is spread the word and hope that people donate out of the goodness of their hearts.
Which is why I am asking that if you or someone you know would be willing to donate a part of your liver to my husband, I honestly cannot put into words how much that would mean to my husband and our family. A living donor could be anyone who shares a compatible blood group with the recipient, in good health, between 18-60 years and freely willing to donate. His blood compatibility is type A and O blood. Donor surgery lasts about 6 hrs. The surgeons remove about half of the donor’s liver, which is then transplanted into recipient. Within 6 to 12 weeks the liver grows back to about 90% of its original size and starts to work normally again. The hospital stay for donor is about 5 to 7 days. Donor can usually return to work after 6 to 12 weeks (there are government programs in place that will cover wages lost during the time of operation and recovery). As with any major surgery, there are risks involved for the donor. Some complications may include problems with the anesthetic, wound infections, pneumonia, blood clots, bleeding, bile leakage, mental stress and others. Decision to donate a piece of your liver is a very serious one and I don’t want to force anyone into doing this. The fact that you read this message this far means so much to me. If you don’t want to donate, it’s absolutely fine. But it would truly mean a lot to me if you could help me spread my message.
If you would like to donate, here are the steps you can go through:
- Find out your blood type. If you go to your family doctor, or any walk-in clinic, they should be able to do a blood test for you. They will ask why you want one, after that, they should give you a requisition and tell you where to go from there to get it done. Blood tests are free.
- E-Mail me (If compatible). If your blood type is O or A and you are willing to put your name on the list, e-mail me at email@example.com and I will e-mail you back an information package that explains the entire procedure, the operation, the benefits, the risks etc.
- You’re put on the list, you need to go for testing at Toronto General. After the forms are submitted to Toronto General Hospital, you will be put on the list of potential donors. Then you will be called by the hospital to have a CT Scan and MRI. The doctors will call you back about a week after to let you know if you are compatible to donate or not.
The testing and procedure will take place at the Toronto General Hospital, so you should ideally live around the GTA, or be able to travel to Toronto. The Ontario Health Plan (OHIP) will cover all your testing and procedure expenses even if you’re not covered under OHIP (i.e. don’t live in Ontario). If you are too far away to be able to help, please help me spread the word in any way possible to friends and family.
I really appreciate you reading this. The responses I have received so far are so overwhelming. The support and concern means so much to me, and really comforts us in feeling that we’re not alone in this. Please spread the word at the very least to people you know, reBlog, reTweet, word of mouth, status update, anything. Even if you spread the word to just ONE person, that person can be the one who saves my husband. Thank you.