Guatemalan baby receives liver transplant


The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A 7-month-old baby from Guatemala has had a successful liver transplant operation at a Kaohsiung hospital, doctors said yesterday. The boy, Santiago Haider, was in a stable condition after receiving a portion of a liver donated by his mother, said doctors at Kaohsiung’s Chang Gung Memorial Hospital where the organ transplant was conducted. The operation, which lasted more than 10 hours on Tuesday, had been arranged in response to a call for help from Taiwan by Guatemalan President Otto Fernando Perez Molina, the doctors said. Santiago was born with biliary atresia, a condition where the common bile duct between the liver and the small intestine is blocked or absent. He subsequently developed liver cirrhosis, which would have been fatal. The 6.1kg baby arrived at Chang Gung with his parents last month, with help from Taiwan’s ambassador to Guatemala. Tests showed that his mother was an ideal liver donor, the doctors said at a press conference explaining the operation.

But as the baby would need only a small piece of liver, the doctors said they had to conduct a complicated procedure to reduce the size of the organ piece removed from the mother. Santiago’s father appeared at the press conference, and expressed gratitude to Chang Gung for saving the boy.

The hospital said it would shoulder all operation costs.