Uygur baby receives liver transplant from father
A 10-month-old boy from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region received a successful liver transplant in Shanghai on Wednesday with the help of his father’s donated organ. Both are recovering well, doctors said today.
The boy, whose skin turned yellow when he was two months old, was diagnosed with cirrhosis, abnormal liver function and congenital biliary atresia — a common disease that affects one in every 10,000 newborns. Liver transplants are the only option for those in the terminal stage.
His parents are farmers who sold their fields and took the baby to Urumqi, where doctors suggested they go to a hospital in a big city.
The family took the boy to Fudan University’s Children’s Hospital in Shanghai on January 18, where the boy arrived in critical condition in immediate needs of a liver transplant.
With the help of a WeChat group consisting of doctors in the children’s hospital and Shanghai’s Huashan Hospital on liver transplant, medical staff in the two hospitals conducted good cooperation, pre-surgery preparation and arrangement for the patient, who was transferred to Huashan on February 9 for liver transplant surgery.
Dr Wang Zhengxin of Huashan Hospital said his team began preparing soon after the boy arrived in Shanghai. Dr Cheng Gong from the children’s hospital sent the patient’s information and medical test results to the WeChat group in time for all the doctors to learn about his condition prior to surgery.
Fortunately, the father is a match to the boy.
The father's 231-gram liver was harvested within two hours and transplanted into the boy immediately thereafter. The entire surgery lasted six hours.
The boy was then transferred to the children’s hospital’s intensive care unit for after-surgery treatment and rehabilitation. Hospital officials said the boy is in stable condition and his vital signs are good.
Local doctors also helped the family apply to a charitable foundation to cover the medical expenses and arranged volunteers to streamline communication between doctors and the Uygur couple.
Huashan Hospital’s liver transplant team has treated more than 200 children. In addition to treating young people, they also set up WeChat groups for adults with thousands of members who inform doctors about their conditions and share experiences with others.