Derry mum gives 11 month old son part of her liver and gift of life

A local mother has given her son the gift of life for a second time after she donated part of her liver to him.

Friday, 29th July 2016, 8:56 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:36 pm

Lisa Storey became a living donor for her son Abel and they underwent major surgery in Birmingham just over two weeks ago.

Eleven month old Abel was diagnosed with the rare liver disease Billiary Atresia when he was just weeks old.

He is now free of the disease and is no longer suffering the ‘shocking’ pain it was causing him thanks to his mum’s selfless act.

Lisa and Abel are making a speedy recovery and returned home 13 days after the transplant.

The brave mum said their first day at home was like ‘Christmas morning’ when Abel flew around the house on his walker like any other healthy child.

‘I don’t think any parent would give becoming a living donor a second thought. I didn’t over think the operation or what things would be like after the operation. I just wanted the end result’.

‘Abel must have been in so much pain and there was nothing else I could do to take that away. To now know that I have helped remove that pain is brilliant’.

Lisa shared her son’s organ donation journey with thousands of people online to encourage others to make their wishes known.

‘There is a huge problem in the United Kingdom and we just don’t have enough organ donors. It is something people maybe don’t want to think about or talk about.

‘If your wishes are not clearly known by your family they can refuse permission at a time when they are emotionally distraught. Please let your family know if you want to donate your organs’.

Just over two weeks ago, Lisa and Abel underwent major surgery in Birmingham.

The procedure involved removing part of Lisa’s liver and transplanting it into Abel. As a result the tot is now free of liver disease.

It is not something Lisa expected to happen before Abel’s first birthday but she is so thankful it did.

‘We really haven’t slept for the past 11 months. Abel had a chronic itch as a result of the liver disease and it caused him horrendous pain.

The decision to go ahead with the transplant while he was still quite well was made to give Abel quality of life. His quick recovery is a result of how stable he was’.

The 11 month old spent less than 24 hours in intensive care following the transplant and within days his bubbly character was returning.

‘To see him waving, smiling and dancing again was just brilliant’, says Lisa.

Lisa’s recovery was somewhat slower and she spent a number of days in ICU.

Abel will be on a strict regime of medication for the rest of his life following the transplant.

For Lisa and her husband Jude the most important thing is keeping Abel infection free, particularly in the first few weeks post transplant as it can be fatal.

They will have to avoid busy places to reduce the risks to their baby and visits to their home will be restricted to close family.

Everyone who comes into their home will also have to wash their hands and use anti-bacterial gel.

‘We have been going around the house with anti-bacterial wipes cleaning everything that Abel might touch and all of his toys. When we go out and about we will ask people to use anti-bacterial gel before touching Abel’.

‘We have to take every day at a time but at the minute we feel really, really good. I have quite a large scar, but what is the cost of a scar when it has Abel well and healthy’.