Husband has week to live unless he gets a new liver
Joyce Ng and Adrian Wan
An urgent appeal was issued yesterday by the wife of a patient who has only one week to live if he does not get a liver transplant.
Surveyor Benny Lee Chi-yan, 45, was admitted to Baptist Hospital in December and diagnosed as having acute liver failure.
He was then transferred to Queen Mary Hospital.
His wife, Stephanie Min-ling, said at his bedside yesterday: 'I am still hopeful my husband will live. I am confident somebody will help.'
She made her appeal through the Institute of Surveyors yesterday, after the organisation and Lee's company failed to find a donor by an internal appeal over the past few weeks. Lee is of type B blood. He needs a donor of the same type or type O.
Stephanie said he was a hepatitis B carrier and doctors said her husband's condition was caused by virus mutation. She added: 'There have been a few people of the right blood type coming forward but they changed their mind after knowing the risks.
'I understand this. But I know there are people out there who will support him.'
Lee is a quantity surveyor working for the Japanese construction firm Maeda Corporation.
He is the sole breadwinner in the family and the father of a seven-year-old son and two daughters, aged 10 and 13.
His relatives were not suitable donors as they were either hepatitis carriers as well or of the wrong blood type.
'It is only by chance that there are deceased donors available. We hope more live donors can come forward,' Stephanie said.
Daniel Ho Kwok-kwan, a spokesman for the institute, described Lee as a nice person and a keen volunteer. 'He has been a voluntary assessor for the institute's licensing exams for many years.
'He is an optimistic, faithful Christian,' Ho said.
Last year, Hong Kong saw organ donations from seven people (deceased) per million, up from four per million in 2005, according to statistics compiled every five years by the government.
At the end of last year, there were more than 90,000 registered donors in the Centralised Organ Donation Register, up from about 65,000 at the end of 2010. Despite the rise, there is still a shortage.
As of 2010, 91 patients were on the liver transplant waiting list. Of the 95 liver transplants, 42 involved deceased donors and 53 were living.