A 36-year-old mother of three is donating two of her organs in order to save the life of her young son, telling him, “This is going to be your year,” BBC News reports.
Sarah Lamont will be donating one of her kidneys and a part of her liver in order to give her son the transplants he desperately needs.
Lamont’s 4-year-old son, Joe, was born with a rare kidney condition known as autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, which destroyed his kidney function at birth. His kidneys were so enlarged that they were the size of adult kidneys. They had to be removed to save his life because they were pressing on other vital organs. Doctors did not expect him to survive.
Joe beat the odds and lived, but he has had an extremely difficult time. He has had a number of serious illnesses in his short life and has been on the waiting list for combined liver and kidney transplants for two years.
When there was still no sign that her son would be getting a call soon about available organs, Sarah asked if she could donate both of the needed organs for her little boy.
While it is relatively common for parents to donate organs to their children, no parent has ever given two organs.
“They hadn’t suggested it before because it hadn’t been done before but in January I will donate part of my liver and a few months later my kidney,” Sarah said.
The first of the operations will take place later this month at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where doctors have only carried out a procedure like this once before. The liver transplant will be the riskier one for Sarah, with a one in 250 risk of death. Removing a kidney for live donation leads to death in one in 4,000 cases, doctors say.
Sarah says things have been very difficult for little Joe. He has been on kidney dialysis since birth, but there is no machine that will do the job of the liver, she says.
“He’s had a really hard run,” she said. “His doctors have called him a miracle. He’s like the cat with nine lives. We’ve been told so many times ‘we can’t do any more prepare for the worst’.”
The doting mother describes Joe as a “great, funny feisty wee boy” and says “he puts up with so much.”
“I just want him to be a normal happy wee boy and have the opportunity to grow up and get a job and get married and have babies,” she said.
Sarah says she’s doing what any parent would do to save the life of their child.
“If I can help him do that like any parent – you’d do anything for your child,” she said.
“He’s fighting so hard to stay on this earth so I have to be his mummy and fight for him too.”
Sarah has two other children at home, Max, 12, and Eve, 10. She knows that she is putting herself at risk with the surgeries but says she would do the same for her older children.
“I’ve had all the counseling about the risks, she said. “They are great surgeons and will do the best for me. But if anything goes wrong for me I know I will die knowing I saved my son.”
Sarah is passionate about organ donation and encourages people to find out the wishes of their loved ones so they can donate their organs if it is possible.
“I would urge everybody to sit down and have a chat with their loved ones about what their wishes are,” she said.
Doctors are planning to do the liver transplant on January 25, with the kidney operation in the following months when both mother and son have recovered.
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