Liver spliced for two transplants

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

Two of the luckiest children in South Africa are recovering in hospital after receiving a liver transplant.

Martha Nwaneri, a Nigerian national, and Jean-Piere Strydom, of Pretoria, have been on a donor organ waiting-list for years. Their prayers were answered this week when an organ donor came through for them.

The liver had to be split into two segments. One segment was transplanted into Nwaneri and the other to Strydom in a six-hour- long procedure at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre.

Vernon Kinnear, the medical centre's spokesman, said Nwaneri and Strydom are recovering "very well".

"They are currently kept in an isolation ward to prevent infection. They will remain there for the next two to three weeks and then be moved to the intensive care unit while we monitor their recuperation," he said.

"I must say both Nwaneri and Strydom were very brave to hold on this long."

They have both been seriously ill for long a time. Nwaneri was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago with liver failure while "Strydom has been sick since he was born," said Kinnear.