In an extreme act of generosity, Canada based Kevin Gosling donated a part of his liver to a 5-year old comatose child to help him recover from an incurable liver disease . He further stated that he had no regrets about donating his organ to a complete stranger or about putting his own life at risk, adding that he would do it again, if necessary.
The impact a kidney donation had on one of his family friends is said to have been instrumental in shaping the decision of this 46-year old man. The enthusiastic donor was seen wearing a bright green ribbon, expressing his desire for organ donation, at a press meet.
'You find out about the waiting list and it being very long and there's a lot of people who don't make it. So I started thinking what if I add my liver to that pool? Everyone on that list moves up a notch,' he said.
The child had an intrinsic enzyme deficiency that placed him with the constant risk of permanent brain damage, coma and eventually death. 'Imagine if your child had to take a special formula and medications every six hours -- in fact about 40 pills a day and had to be on a severely restricted low-protein diet. Where do you turn to for hope? Hope for us came in the form of an angel-donor named Kevin', said a letter from the recipient's family.
The potential donor had to face 12 hours of extensive interrogation by psychiatrists and doctors before they concluded his humanitarian motive. The much-awaited green signal was then given to the six-hour transplant surgery that carried a 0.5 percent risk of death.
The liver is the only internal organ in the human body that has excellent regenerative capacity. It is the only organ in which a segment can be removed for transplantation into another human body; enabling both the donor and recipient survive.
Following the surgery, Gosling who deserves the credit of being the first Canadian to donate a part of his liver to an unknown recipient, has reported feeling happy and is recovering very well, without any post-operative complications.
'I don't think there is anything unique or special about me. But I do think I was part of something unique and special. It took a long time for the first one and we're in the process of working on others. We understand what motivates people to do this and we will make it available for people who want to help others,' he said in a statement.
More than 355 people were on the liver transplant waiting list in Ontario, in the year 2005. Out of this, 147 and 47 liver transplants were carried out from cadaver donors and live related donors respectively.
Responding to the Gosling's act, Dr. Gary Levy, director of transplants at Toronto General Hospital said that it has already attracted and inspired a lot of potential donors.