An Ontario couple faces an unspeakable dilemma: their ailing twin girls both need new livers to live, but the father can only save one.
Michael Wagner found out this week that he is a match to give part of his liver to one of his three-year-old daughters, who both suffer from Alagille syndrome — a genetic disorder that affects the liver, heart and other organs.
A team of doctors at Toronto General Hospital will decide which of the girls, named Binh and Phuoc, will receive the transplant, said Johanne Wagner, Michael’s wife and the girls’ mother.
“We told them we didn’t want to be burdened with the decision making,” she said from Kingston, the family’s hometown.
Johanne Wagner said doctors are expected to perform the surgery in about two weeks. In the meantime, the family is going public with their story in the hopes of finding a donor for the other daughter.
From their Facebook:
A potential live liver donor must:
1) be older than 18 years of age and younger than 60 years of age;
2) be in good overall health and physical condition;
3) have a compatible blood type: A or O (rhesus factor + or – does not matter);
4) have a BMI of less than 35 to be worked up for consideration and no greater than 32 at the time of surgery (transplant).
Work up takes 3-4 days in Toronto. At the time of surgery, donor can expect to be in hospital for 5-10 days. The donor can expect to be off work for about 6 weeks. The donor’s liver will regenerate and regrow to its original size within 6-8 weeks.
The Trillium Gift of Life Network can offer financial help through their PRELOD program.
Please note that REGULATIONS PROHIBIT FAMILIES OF RECIPIENTS TO FINANCIALLY HELP POTENTIAL DONORS.
If you are interested in being a live liver donor for our daughters, please contact:
Toronto General Hospital (UHN)
Living Donor Assessment Office
416.340.4800 ext: 6581
and specify that you are willing to be assessed to donate to either THI BINH LA or THI PHUOC LA (date of birth 14 May 2011).
You can also go to their website:
or print the Donor Health History and fax it at 416.340.4317
This media campaign is exceeding our expectations. I am confident that only good things will emerge from it: that our daughters will be granted the chance to continue their beautiful life with the gift of a new liver.
However, we must all remember that Binh and Phuoc are not the only ones waiting for transplants. I am hoping once we have found donors for our twins, that the many generous people who have come forward to be assessed, those courageous and generous people, will elect to keep their applications in and decide to become anonymous donors for others who are waiting. Those other ones who did not benefit from a media coverage.
I am hoping all our efforts will contribute to help save all the others who are sharing a spot on the list with Binh and Phuoc: they too deserve the gift of life.
Good night, thank you All.