Share Mail Print

Tanja C., born 2001. The schoolgirl from the canton of Schwyz received a new liver in 2002.

“When I dream, I see this image: a baby in a cot, crying and calling for its mother. That’s how it must have been, but I can’t remember it myself: I was only one at the time. But my parents have shown me photos and told me what happened after I was born.

I was only a few weeks old and my liver just would not work. I was vomiting all the time, I was yellow, always hungry and just exhausted. To this day we don’t know what was wrong with my liver. Back then, the doctor told my parents I would die within two to three years if I wasn’t given a new liver. My parents took me to Geneva, because the doctors there specialized in transplantations of organs in children. I was put on the waiting list. But I just kept getting worse. The doctor said the chances of my weakened body surviving the transplantation were about fifty-fifty.

That was awful for my parents to hear. My father didn’t want to wait any more – he was ready to donate part of his liver to me. Everything was prepared. But in the nick of time, we got the news that another liver had been found for me. That was when I was one year and sixteen days old. The operation went well. After that, there was the occasional complication, as my body tried to reject the liver. Plus I often suffered from pneumonia. But we managed to bring everything under control with the necessary medication. Today, I’m just as healthy as anyone else my age. And the liver in my tummy has become part of me.”

Source: Angela Lembo/Schweizer Familie magazine, September 2013