Hope still flutters for liver patient

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 July, 2011, 12:00am


The family of liver-failure patient Ricky Cheng Kin-kwong say they are clinging to a slim hope after an appeal for a transplant donor failed to turn up a suitable candidate immediately.

'We still have hope,' Cheng's wife Emily Tsui Yee-wan said, expressing gratitude for the dozens of calls received since the case was reported. '[My husband's] condition is still very delicate, but he is in better spirits - maybe because a lot of people are going out of their way to help him.'

Meanwhile, time is running out. Professor Lo Chung-mau, who heads the University of Hong Kong liver transplant team at Queen Mary Hospital, said that without an immediate transplant 90 per cent of patients like Cheng (pictured) would die within three months.

'But if they do get a transplant the chance of their walking out of the hospital is 98 per cent,' Lo said. Cheng 42, has been in hospital for the past two weeks. Unable to find a suitable donor among family members, his only hope of recovery is through an organ donation from a stranger.

Cheng's niece Crystal Ku Wing-yin said four to five people had gone to the hospital to talk to the doctors and Cheng's family yesterday, and some of them were willing to undergo tests to see if they were physically and psychologically fit to donate part of their liver. Some travelled from the mainland to see if they could help.

'We are really grateful for the support and kindness of all those people who phoned us volunteering to help,' Tsui said.

Lo said Cheng's case was one of many. 'The need for organ donors is great - there are many who are just as desperately in need of a donor. There are many who have passed away, but not a lot of cases get to the press.'

Readers who would like to help can reach Tsui at 9045 2016 and Ku at 6390 2512.