From: South China Morning Post
Ella Lee
Jul 23、2009
From: South China Morning Post
Ella Lee

Jul 23、2009

Haunted by memories of a friend who died from liver cancer、a 37-year-old man became the first person in Hong Kong to donate part of his liver to a total stranger.
 
The selfless act by Kenny Chan Kai-yiu saved the life of 19-year-old Tiffany Law Man-ting、who was critically ill after a previous transplant from her father had failed.
 
Mr Chan、a devout Christian、said he had decided to help Ms Law after learning of her plight though friends、and when he found that their blood types matched、"it was like a calling from God".
 
"I wanted to save her、and I thank my mother for supporting me," he said 10 months after the transplant、as Ms Law、now recovered、prepared to start a marketing course at Polytechnic University.
 
Ms Law said: "I thank him so much. My father risked his life to save me once、and I couldn't imagine that a stranger would do the same."
About 100 liver patients in Hong Kong are waiting for a transplant at any given time、and nearly half die without finding a suitable donor.
 
Ms Law had her first transplant、using part of her father's liver、at Prince of Wales Hospital in 2002 after suffering acute liver failure. But because of a mismatch in blood-vessel size、the transplant failed.
 
She was diagnosed with cirrhosis at Queen Mary Hospital last year、and at the end of August fell into a coma.
 
When Mr Chan、a hawker control officer、heard of her plight on September 17、it brought back painful memories of how a friend had died from liver cancer.
 
"In his last days、my friend's liver failed completely," he recalled. "His body was like a big balloon filled with water. His waist measured 62 inches [157cm]. Fluid came out everywhere from his skin. He was in great pain."
 
He said that as he prayed for Ms Law、these images of his friend flashed back.
 
"I didn't know what to do. I prayed and asked for God's direction."
 
The next day、he learned that his blood type、A-positive、matched that of Ms Law.
 
"I know a bit about liver transplants and I decided to give my liver to her. It was a magical feeling. It was like a calling from God."
 
The first barrier he had to overcome was his mother、despite her subsequent support.
 
"My mother bluntly said no when I told her I wanted to donate my liver. I put down the phone、prayed and called her again five minutes later. This time、I asked what she would have felt if I were the one who was lying on the hospital bed but not this girl. She finally agreed with me. It was like magic."
 
His colleagues in the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's hawker control squad also supported him.
 
"They saw it as a noble act、and I am grateful for their support."
 
He was interviewed by the University of Hong Kong liver-transplant team、who explained to him the risks and consequences - that he could die and would carry a big surgical scar on his abdomen for life.
 
Mr Chan said he was prepared for the worst and did not fear death. He wrote down a contact list for his mother in case she needed help from his friends to arrange his funeral. He also sent his two dogs to a pet hotel in case he did not come home.
 
On September 22、he checked into the hospital. "I stopped eating and drinking before I left home ... after a final sip of iced red-bean milk. I did not want to waste any time、any chance to save the girl."
 
The transplant was done on September 25. It took 22 hours.
 
Ms Law said she had been admitted to a nursing course at Polytechnic University last year but fell ill before she could start it and had since switched to marketing.
 

"Some nurses who took care of me advised me not to be a nurse、because the job would be too demanding on my health," she said.

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