Dying Boy Given One Lung From Each Parent

It might seem like only bad news is ever reported anymore, but there are occasionally very inspiring human stories. Case in point, two parents that each donated one of their lungs to save the life of their dying 12-year-old boy.

Two German parents, a mother and father, donated one lung each in order to save the life of their son, who suffers from cystic fibrosis. According to Germany’s The Local, the boy’s situation became very severe in April, requiring that he be hooked up to a ventilator and a heart-lung machine. Parents waited and waited for a donor, and when one failed to materialize, they decided to intervene and put their own bodies up in order to save the life of their son.

“The transplant was his last chance,” said Dr. Gregor Warnecke, the boy’s supervising doctor. “If we had enough organ donors in Germany, the doctors would not have to resort to living donors,” said the boy’s father, Lars.

Fortunately, both parents were compatible blood types and their lungs were larger than their son’s (this is a necessary prerequisite for donation). Both parents went under the knife, recovered quickly, and were able to leave the hospital after ten days. The surgery took roughly six hours.

The boy’s mother, Anja, said she had no trouble intervening to save her son’s life. “It was immediately clear,” she said.

The boy, Marius, spent 155 days in the hospital, but he can now breathe more easily, thanks to the sacrifice of his parents. His prognosis and quality of life have greatly improved, though he still has to take a series of drugs to counter the cystic fibrosis, which hasn’t disappeared.