Donor's first words to doctors: how is he?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 November, 2010, 12:00am

It was a gesture in keeping with his selfless action.

On waking from the operation to donate part of his liver, customs inspector Simon Hui Sai-man's first thought was for the health of the recipient, fellow officer Yuen Wai-cheung.

'After he awoke from the operation he kept asking about Yuen's progress,' said Professor Lo Chung-mau, head of the University of Hong Kong's liver transplant team who led the operation.

Lo said Hui was fine and had not thought about the risks and discomfort involved in the procedure.

The 40-year-old was taking liquids, while Yuen, the man who owes him his life, was reported to be in good condition and able to respond to his wife's voice despite being in a coma.

The two men, who did not know each other before the operation, were in stable condition in Queen Mary Hospital and were expected to be moved to general wards.

Yuen damaged his liver when he fell on metal railings during a raid targeting illicit cigarettes in Tseung Kwan O last week. His condition became critical on Tuesday and he needed a liver transparent urgently.

Hui heard the public appeal on Wednesday and rushed by taxi from Tuen Mun to the hospital for the test.

Lo said Yuen was recovering well. 'The transplanted liver is functioning well, intestinal and stomach bleeding has stopped and his lungs are functioning.'

Yuen's wife said she was overjoyed when he reacted to her voice after the operation by making a very small body movement. 'We just want him back home soon.'

Hui is recovering very quickly. 'He can sit on the bed,' his elder sister said after visiting him. 'We are proud of him and thank the public for their support as well.'

A donor's liver function returns to normal as it grows back to its original size in about a month.

Lo said Yuen's case had shown the importance of promoting organ donations. He said if there were more donations from dead patients, the team would not have to risk the lives of living donors.

'The incident also shows the beauty of humanity - the selflessness of Hui in donating part of his liver to someone he does not know.'

Lo thanked his team for working round the clock on the difficult operation, which took about 14 hours.

The two men were visited last night by Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong and Customs Commissioner Richard Yuen Ming-fai. Tang said: 'The commissioner will give them a long holiday to fully recover before they go back to work.' They will take three months off to recover.