Two Childhood Friends in UK Donate Parts of Liver to Save Their Children Without Bile Ducts

by Medindia Content Team on  February 10, 2008 at 2:55 PM Organ Donation News   - G J E 4
Two Childhood Friends in UK Donate Parts of Liver to Save Their Children Without Bile Ducts
In an amazing story of coincidence, two childhood friends in UK have donated parts of their livers to their children born out without bile ducts. Incidentally one of the children is named India!

So far only a few dozen of these operations have ever been carried out in the UK.

Tara Sturman, 35, and Andrea Cobbold, 33, live in neighbouring villages in Suffolk and attended the same school, and recently returned home from hospital after the successful surgery.

Andrea Cobbold said: "When it comes to it all mums would give anything to save their child but there was a chance I could die on the operating theatre so, with an elder daughter, Frances, three; I had a lot to consider.

"It's a staggering coincidence that Tara had to go through the same ordeal. It's an emotional time. Having a close friend who knows exactly what you're going through is an enormous help."

Andrea's son Alex, 13 months; and Tara's daughter India, 10 months; were diagnosed with biliary atresia within weeks of each other.
The condition affects about 50 babies in England and Wales each year and means the child is born without bile ducts outside their liver so bile enters the bloodstream poisioning the liver and causing cirrhosis.
Mohamed Rela, consultant liver surgeon at King's College Hospital who operated on Andrea and Alex, said: "This condition is extremely rare. Furthermore, only 55 mother-to-child liver donation operations have been carried out in the UK."

Alex received her liver transplant in October 2007 and was allowed home on December 20.

India received hers in November and went back to her home in Elmswell, Suffolk, in January, reports Daily Mail.

Andrea, from Wetherden, Suffolk, said: "There is still a small chance of rejection, but if this doesn't happen, Alex's new liver should last him well into old age.

"My liver was a bit big for him so he still has an open chest - which means his abdomen is covered by clear film. Within a few months it can be closed up.

"They took 30 per cent of my liver. It has already grown back to it's original size.

"I'm confident Alex, 13 months, would've died without my liver - the lack of donors means the waiting list is too long and Alex didn't have time."

Source: Medindia

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