Singapore: 54-year-old man donates liver to teenage girl

The 10-hour long transplant surgery was done this year at the National University Hospital in March.

A 54-year-old Singaporean has become the first non-directed liver donor in Singapore after he donated part of his liver to a teenage girl.

Last year, Lim Kok Seng willingly stepped forward to offer part of his liver to anyone in need on the national waiting list.

A match was found with Lim Si Jia, who was only 16 years old. The 10-hour-long transplant surgery was done at the National University Hospital in March.

Si Jia was diagnosed with glycogen storage disease, when she was only 8 years old. This disease meant that her original liver could not properly break down stored glycogen. Hence, she needed a liver transplant and was put on the national waiting list.

"She had an uncomplicated recovery and was discharged within the usual time," her doctors told AFP.

Si Jia is a student of Edgevale Secondary School and she is expected to return to school about three to six months after her operation.

Lim's operation was also completed successfully and he was discharged five days after the operation. "It was never in my mind that I was the first non-directed donor. At the back of my mind it was just to save a life... and even when I came out of my beautiful sleep, my first question was: 'I hope the recipient is recovering," Lim said.

Lim had voluntarily signed up to be an organ donor and he promised to give his organs and body tissues for transplant, education or research purposes after his death.

Professor Krishnakumar Madhavan, co-director of the National University Centre for Organ Transplantation, said: "We hope that Mr Lim's compassion and generosity will encourage more people with such levels of altruism to step forward to provide the ultimate gift of life to someone in need of an organ."