A grateful family has shared its experiences of live organ donation to try and encourage more people to sign up.
Carol Morris, 69, saved the life of her only granddaughter, Farah, who was just 10 months old at the time, after donating part of her liver in January 2008.
At five weeks old, Farah was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare disease affecting the liver’s drainage system in newborns. It is fatal if left untreated.
Despite undergoing an operation at six weeks old, Farah’s mum, Joanna Bycroft, was told by consultants at St James’ Hospital that her daughter was in need of a transplant in order to survive. As her condition deteriorated, the family was given the option of a live transplant.
After testing, Carol, from Halifax, was the only family member who matched.
Twelve years on Farah leads a healthy, happy life. Carol said: “It’s made such a difference because she can live a relatively normal life. Farah will be on medication for the rest of her life, but that is a small price to pay to have her here with us. With the continued support from all the staff at Leeds Children’s Hospital, Farah and other children who have had transplants will be forever indebted.”
Both living related donors and deceased donors can help save or drastically improve the life of someone waiting for a transplant.
Joanna said: “Following my family’s experience, we want to continue raising awareness of live transplants, so that more consider putting themselves forward and more people are saved.
"It is daunting when you are in a position where your baby is only a few months old and the transplant list determines whether she is going to survive. There is a special bond between Farah and her grandma, it really is special. My mum saved Farah’s life and I’m forever grateful for that.”