Pediatric Liver Transplant - Requiem for JC

Healthbeat 1996 No. 8.jpgHealthbeat 1996 No. 8.jpg

Johann Carlo Magno, 16 months young, the country’s first pediatric liver transplant case with a living and related donor, succumbed to pulmonary infection and sepsis (systemic infection) aggravated by recurring gastro-intestinal bleeding.

That was in 24 May, 42 days after he received a third of his mother’s liver at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI).

JC was born with a congenital liver ailment called bilary atresia, or absence of bile duct. His lover was unable to excrete excess fluid and toxins, and was not capable of properly absorbing and storing nutrients.

When he was five months old, JC was first operated on to correct biliary atresia, but doctors found his liver badly damaged. A transplant was needed to prolong his life.

His parents, Carloman Jr. and Patricia did not want to use an organ from a cadaver. A transplant with a living and related donor has higher success rate.

On 12 April, Patricia donated her liver to JC after a series of tests confirmed they had compatible tissues and blood type.

JC’s story drew national attention because of his families resolve to give him a new liver. They set up a liver foundation for JC, enabling them to raise P1.5 million for the transplant.

A team of Taiwanese doctors from the Surgery Department of the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital came to assist the NKTI doctors in conducting the 17-hour transplant procedure.

The NKTI doctors did not have any experience on pediatric liver transplant involving a living and related donor. They had performed liver transplants only on six adults, using organs from cadavers.

JC, named after Pope John Paul II, was born on January 3, 1995 with a twin brother named Gian.