I will conclude National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week by briefly mentioning liver transplants. Often people with CF need liver transplants due to years of damage from all the digestive enzymes as well as antibiotics. This is sometimes done with a lung transplant but can also be done as it's own surgery.
Liver transplants take between six to eight hours and are done in most major cities across Canada. Like a lung transplant, after surgery the patient is monitored in ICU for signs of infection and rejection. However, unlike a lung transplant, the patient is usually out of the hospital in 10-14 days. The success rate for a liver transplant is between 85-90% and the patient is on anti-rejection medication for the rest of their lives.
Unlike lung transplants, liver transplants can be done from a living donor. Not everyone is suitable for this, it depends on the level of liver failure, but if a family member can donate, it prevents the person from having to wait on the long transplant list. For an adult, the right lobe of the donor's liver is transplanted. For the donor, it requires a five to ten day hospitalization and two to three months of recovery time. In a few months post-transplant, the donor's liver will regenerate to within 90% it's original size.
In the time period from 2011-2015, there have been 15 liver transplants in New Brunswick, 29 in Newfoundland and Labrador, 62 in Nova Scotia, and 8 in PEI. In 2015 alone, Ontario did 234 liver transplants, 57 of those were from a living donor.
As of today, in Ontario, there are 220 people waiting for a liver transplant.
My obligatory pitch: If you know someone who is waiting for a liver transplant, who knows, maybe you can give them part of yours. Haven't you always wanted to save a life and be a hero? Why not sign up today to be a organ donor? And don't wait until you're dead! Donate some blood while you're still alive and save someone's life now.
From all of us who've had our lives saved from organ donation, blood donation, and/or stem cell donation, THANK YOU!!!