Dying Hong Kong ex-principal gets liver transplant after living donor comes forward
Patient’s wife earlier made public appeal to save her husband; donor is wife of current head of same secondary school
A dying retired principal has been given a glimmer of hope after receiving a timely organ donation from the wife of a fellow educator.
Wu Man-ming, 60, who used to head SKH Holy Trinity Church Secondary School, underwent liver transplant surgery at 2am on Wednesday. He is still in a critical condition, a Queen Mary Hospital spokesman said on Wednesday morning.
The donor, Lui Kit-ha, is the wife of the current vice-principal of the secondary school in Ho Man Tin.
Wu’s successful match with a donor was announced on the school’s alumni Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.
The post revealed that about 60 to 70 per cent of Lui’s liver would be removed for transplant, and her recovery would begin with a week’s stay in hospital before another month spent recuperating at home.
The operations to remove part of Lui’s liver and implant it in Wu have taken place successfully. Each of them was handled by a team of three to four surgeons.
Wu had visited Kwong Wah Hospital last Tuesday with what he thought was a cold. To the shock of his family, he was diagnosed with acute liver failure and was transferred to Queen Mary Hospital.
His situation deteriorated very quickly, and he fell into a coma on Saturday, with his liver function dropping to almost zero.
Wu is a hepatitis patient and had visited Japan and eaten sashimi before he got ill. But the doctors still could not explain why his condition came on so suddenly.
His wife, Stella Chu Lai-yee, 60, was devastated as she made an emotional public appeal for a donor to come forward, saying Wu might have only two weeks to live without a liver transplant.
Several of his relatives had offered live donations but were not suitable matches, while no dead donor was available.
“I can’t live without him. I love and rely on him so much. In our lives, he is everything,” Chu told the Post on Saturday.
Wu headed the school at Oi Man Estate for nearly two decades before stepping down about six years ago. He was widely respected by former pupils, and the Facebook page was flooded with messages wishing him and Lui a speedy recovery.
Many also praised Lui’s selfless act.
“Let’s hope everything goes smooth for both of you. Our prayers are with you two and we wait for your good news,” Janet Renie Yung wrote.