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Alcohol support

Should I donate part of my liver to my sister?

260 replies

Sienna7657 · 04/05/2021 10:58

Hi all,
My sister has been a heavy drinker for many years. It's got to the point that she has malnutrition and her liver has failed. She cannot walk anymore because she is that weak.
She is in need of a liver transplant. I know that in the uk, it can take many months before a donor is available. I'm the same blood group as her and I have a healthy bmi.
I am considering to give her part of my liver instead. However there are a few things I need to consider.
I am a single mum to 2 young children under 2. Recovery after a transplant can take upto 3 months and I dont think I can find anyone else to help me take care of the kids.
I would have to take unpaid leave off work. This would mean that my family will struggle financially and I really dont want to be asking my family for money.
What would you do if you were me?

OP posts:
BunniesBunniesBunnies · 04/05/2021 11:01

Wow that is such a difficult decision. I would not blame you for saying no, but equally I imagine it must be nearly impossible to say no.

Has your sister stopped drinking now? I think that would influence my decision. If she is still drinking, I would think very very carefully before saying yes.

ChiefBabySniffer · 04/05/2021 11:01

I'm sorry but I would be saying no. You need to consider your children, your recovery, and the possibility of surgical connotations and the impact that could have on your family.

I love my sister deeply but if it was me needing a transplant I would not risk her life to save mine. I couldn't live with the guilt of her children being left without a C parent or with a life changing surgical issue.

sadpapercourtesan · 04/05/2021 11:02

I'm sorry if this sounds brutal, but can you be sure she will actually stop drinking? I would not want to undergo a life-threatening operation with a long recovery, disrupting my family and putting my own long-term health in jeopardy, to offer a second chance to someone who is likely to piss it away.

It must be devastating for you to see your sister go through this, and I understand why you would want to do anything to help her - but I'm not sure it's the right decision. You matter too, and so do your children.

HollowTalk · 04/05/2021 11:02

I'm afraid I'd say no, too. Your first priority is your own children now. And there's absolutely no guarantee that she won't just continue drinking with a new liver.

Mrbob · 04/05/2021 11:04

Unless she has stopped drinking for >6 months no. This is major surgery for both of you with a risk of death. YOU can't fix this. Even if you want to (and it is a very kind thing you are considering)

SoddingWeddings · 04/05/2021 11:05

Absolutely not.

Is she clean from alcohol now? How would you feel if your went through all that, and she started drinking heavily again? That's a real possibility.

The cost to you and your family would be incredibly high.

She's on the donor list, wait and see what happens. If she's at death's door with no transplant in sight, then maybe that's when you consider your options.

Isadora2007 · 04/05/2021 11:05

I’m not sure they’d even agree to do a liver transplant on an active alcoholic. Has anyone event suggested it’s a possibility? Personally I wouldn’t do it.

romdowa · 04/05/2021 11:06

It would be a no from me really unless she had gone through rehab and was a long period sober .

Stripyhoglets1 · 04/05/2021 11:07

No I wouldn't do it and I love my sister dearly. But your priority is your children and surgery always carries some risks.

Sienna7657 · 04/05/2021 11:07

Thankyou for all your responses.
My sister has stopped drinking for 2 years now.
I'm just really sad that it has taken her so long to realise that life is worth living. Whilst she was drinking, she knew the damage she was doing to her body, we all tried talking to her but she just didnt care

OP posts:
GoddessKali · 04/05/2021 11:08

I would for my sibling yes, despite the difficult circumstances I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t

WeevilsAreEevils · 04/05/2021 11:08

Please don't do this. Your children need you now, they are very little and need a mobile mother, especially if you are a single parent.

How are you going to fund the three month resting period? It really isn't doable.

I'm sorry your sister is so ill, but she will be on the transplant list and will move up it over time. But it is such a risky operation, and even if it worked would she return to drinking?

Personally she would need to be clean and sober for some time for it to even be a consideration.

drpet49 · 04/05/2021 11:10

* I am a single mum to 2 young children under 2.*

For that reason alone I wouldn’t do it. Your kids come first.

DeclineandFall · 04/05/2021 11:10

No I wouldn't because you are a single parent to 2 young children. They are your priority and she absolutely shouldn't ask or refuse if you offered.

ifyougetthechancedoit · 04/05/2021 11:10

If you did this you would need financial, emotional and practical support from your family. Without this, it just isn't possible.

Are your parents around? Does your sister have anyone else interested in her well-being or funds to practically support you? You can carry the burden of all of this alone.

ifyougetthechancedoit · 04/05/2021 11:11

You can't not you can! 🤦🏼‍♀️

Sienna7657 · 04/05/2021 11:16

My parents are around. My parents and my sister do have enough funds to support my family whilst I take time off work. But I would feel extremely uncomfortable asking them for money so that I can take care of my kids- when the kids are my responsibility.
My parents are also quite old so they are not able to take care of the kids alone- they always need me to take care of the kids when I visit anyway. So I know whilst I'm recovering- I have noone to help me take care of the kids.

OP posts:
TheUndoingProject · 04/05/2021 11:18

What’s your sister’s prognosis without the transplant? It’s all very well saying your children come first, but what would the impact be on you and your family if your sister sadly passed away.

Mimsytove · 04/05/2021 11:21

No. I would not.

SoddingWeddings · 04/05/2021 11:23

"My parents and my sister do have enough funds to support my family whilst I take time off work. But I would feel extremely uncomfortable asking them for money so that I can take care of my kids- when the kids are my responsibility."

Are you mad? You'd be giving up half an organ for someone else's life choices, but don't think they should help you to help them?

Please don't do this, your children need you the most of all.

PomegranateQueen · 04/05/2021 11:28

Sorry you are in such a difficult situation. I don't think I would in your circumstances, your DCs needs come first.

Sienna7657 · 04/05/2021 11:30

I'm afraid that if my sister does not get this transplant she will not be able to survive for more than a couple of months. She has 0.04% body fat and malnutrition because of her liver damage. She is also having kidney dialysis because her liver is not functioning properly anymore. Her blood pressure drops dramatically without medication and she is struggling to breathe.
She is also starting to get confused because of the level of toxins in her body (her toxins are not being cleared up because of how much damage she has done to herself).
She is just homesick and alone, in ICU.
I am completely heartbroken. She is my only sibling in the world and I adore her. But my kids came into this world without asking to be here. It's my responsibility and duty to take care of their needs.

OP posts:

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SE13Mummy · 04/05/2021 11:31

I think it's something you could only do if your sister/parents are in a position to fund some live-in super support for you whilst you are recovering. It's not just your children that will need to be looked after but you will need someone to look after you too. Would it be easier for you to abrupt financial support from your family if they were to employ a temporary nanny/housekeeper/mother's help?

If you don't feel able to ask your family to support you financially whilst you take the risk of major surgery etc. then it feels rather unbalanced.

Cillmantain · 04/05/2021 11:32

It doesn't sound feasible at all.
Your responsibility is to your children.
Your own surgery to donate part of your liver is not without risk.
You may not even be suitable.
It's not just about blood types matching.

TakeYourFinalPosition · 04/05/2021 11:34

If she’s on dialysis, is their further damage to her kidneys, or is it “just” the liver failure?

Have the doctors suggested what the chances of success of a liver transplant will be? Is she well enough to undergo one?

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