Teen saves mom, changes the rules for live donors

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feistres Goruchaf y Bwrdd
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Teen saves mom, changes the rules for live donors

Post by oneh2obabe »

She gave him life, the least he could do was return the favour.

But first the hospital had to be convinced that 17-year-old Trey Gregory was not too young to save his dying mother’s life.

When Toronto General Hospital finally allowed him to donate a piece of his liver, it also changed its policy for the minimum age for live donors.

“I’m alive and my son saved my life,” says Trey’s mother, Patty Gregory.

Gregory, 54, had liver disease and was put on the transplant waiting list in October 2009. Trey, then 16, wanted to donate.

His mother wouldn’t hear of it. “I was convinced I would get a donor in time,” she says, adding she didn’t want to risk her son’s life.

But as her condition deteriorated and Trey kept insisting, she agreed.

“She was so sick . . . ” says Trey. “I just wanted her to get well.”

But the Toronto General did not allow anyone under 18 to donate. Last March, the shy Grade 12 student at Pickering High School decided to press the issue.

Trey was told repeatedly he wasn’t old enough but that didn’t stop him from lobbying. He met with surgeons, living donor coordinators, a psychiatrist and social workers.

Eventually, he won them over.

A few days before the surgery, he confided in some friends, teachers and the vice-principal at his school.

On May 13, after many blood tests and scans, he underwent an 11-hour surgery where a transplant team removed a piece of his liver. The next few days were a blur of excruciating pain, he says.

By the sixth day, the pain was gone. He was home a week later, and that evening, he went to Kelsey’s for dinner with friends. Two days after that, he was back at school, a bit of a hero even though he won’t admit it.

David Grant, surgical director at Toronto General’s multi-organ transplant program, says the policy was changed because “a young person challenged the age cut-off.”

The hospital’s “robust” assessment procedures means people as young as 16 may now donate a portion of their liver, Grant said.

Liver patients face the second longest wait in Canada, after kidneys. While younger donors don’t face any more risk, “it may be more difficult to ensure they comprehend” all of the benefits and risks involved, says Grant.

The hospital performs about 150 liver transplants a year from live and deceased donors.

Live-donor liver transplantation has a 30 per cent risk of complications, with an estimated five out of 1,000 donors losing their lives.

Gregory’s surgery came five days after Mother’s Day and Trey reckons it was the best gift he’d ever gotten her.

As Gregory waxes eloquent about her son, Trey sits in a corner of the living room quietly answering questions. He reluctantly shows his 23-centimetre scar — it looks like a hockey stick running from his lower abdomen to chest.

It takes more prodding before Trey shows his medals from football, karate, math and javelin throw.

Trey, who will have regular checkups for the next 10 years, says he missed the rugby finals at school but is grateful he will have enough time to recuperate before football starts in September. He is also part of his school’s athletic team.

Gregory is still frail, on pain medication and needs a cane to walk around the house.

A few days after the transplant, she jokingly asked him what he wanted in return for the liver.

One million dollars, he said.

They’ve settled for a Caribbean cruise some time soon.

http://www.healthzone.ca/health/newsfea ... -teen?bn=1
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The Wagon Master
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Re: Teen saves mom, changes the rules for live donors

Post by Bsuds »

Good for him! We have had something similar in our family with a kidney donation/transplant. It is a life saving gift and very special.
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Re: Teen saves mom, changes the rules for live donors

Post by strwbrrydvl »

Liver patients face the second longest wait in Canada, after kidneys.

This suprises me. I would've guessed that kidney transplants were one of the quicker transplants to recieve. It seems odd that kidney and liver recipents face the longest waits when a living person can donate.
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