A liver donor to his one-and-a-half year old nephew: “I tell him we’re like a riddle”

Laura Navarro He was 22 when he learned that his nephew Allen, a newborn infant, suffered from a liver disease called bile duct atresia, which is a blockage or absence of the ducts that carry bile from the liver (as in his case). was) was. liver. Vesicle.

Five years have passed and the child, who is starting elementary school next year, lives inside with a piece of his aunt. Or rather, thanks for that.

“When he was a year and two months old, they had already put him on the transplant list and we had surgery six months later,” Laura recalls. The process, well, in writing, is summarized in this sentence, but real life always works differently. There was fear, incompatible parents as donors, another uncle who was incompatible … “No doctor can propose to another person who is not their parent. donasin Same way, but we told our brother that we are his family and we are here to help him. “They never asked us for anything,” says Laura. “We decided between the three brothers. They couldn’t and next i was“, Understand.

What was involved in your transplant?

Allen could not live with his liver and needed another, but he did not have to take a whole and therefore did not need an autopsy donor. He could have used the lobe of a living person, and that’s what happened. Laura passed all the medical tests: intervention was possible. “He has a part of me that doesn’t regenerate, but grows. I tell him we’re like an enigma,” he says.

According to HEPA (Spanish Association for the Help of Children with Liver Disease and Liver Transplant), almost half (40%) of children who undergo a liver transplant are under one year of age. In addition, 38% of pediatric liver transplants performed in Spain are from living donors.

Laura and Alan had surgery in the hospital hebron valleyIn Barcelona, ​​one of the five reference centers that are held in Spain 60 pediatric liver transplants per year.

Laura confirmed that the decision was not difficult for her: “You see a child who doesn’t walk, who doesn’t have a normal life, who stays in the hospital all the time, you see everyone’s suffering… Father was abandoned, so it was very difficult. On the other hand, my decision, it was so easy,

12 hour intervention

“Having a third less liver doesn’t affect my health. Of course, they removed my gallbladder to avoid complications,” he says. Laura was hospitalized for about ten days. today she is a teacher And at the time he was completing his degree: “It was June, so I had to postpone the delivery of the final degree project”, he recalls.

Happiness came after the intervention which lasted for about 12 hours. She confesses that she was afraid to refuse donations under the influence of anaesthesia. “And if I said crap?”, he says, while the eye, he clarifies that a The living donor can return at any time, even already in the operating room. He just wanted to wake up after the procedure and be informed that everything had gone as expected. So this was the matter. He opened his eyes and the next thing was smiles and tears.

Alan’s recovery

Allen had an express recovery. “Immediately she started walking to gain weight… it was unbelievable,” says her aunt. “I have a sense of responsibility and a very special attachment to my nephew, and I’m very proud of him too. His mother usually tells me that she gave birth to him, but i gave her life“, he says.

Laura admits that, of course, he was afraid. how not: “They insist so much that you can stay in the operating room, that anything can happen, that you think they don’t want you to do this. But a month ago there was a hopeless prospect with a cadaver donor and I was the option”. Four years after that, she has supported some initiatives as a volunteer. National Federation of Liver Patients and Transplant (Fneth), an entity tasked with providing support and services to this group.

In telling this family story, Laura doesn’t want to escape their own parents: “Their situation was very complicated, they suffered a lot, although they did not say it until everything was over. They could not donate because of age, but they were very afraid because it was me, the little kid in the right house, Who got exposed”.

The boy has a mark on his arm like that of his aunt, and he knows why. He takes his medicine, goes under his control and that’s it. The rest of his life is normal, as it should have always been.

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