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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:

ceilingsand · 05/05/2021 21:32

You don't think it would be successful, so I think you should not.


TurquoiseDragon · 06/05/2021 00:39


Like fuck would I risk my life for another adult.

But it isn't just "another adult", it's your sister. Family are the only people I'd consider being a living donor for, they aren't just random strangers.

I'm a single parent. I would not donate to a sister as I need to be there for my DC, especially as their father died last year.

Redburnett · 11/05/2021 00:08

Prioritise your DC.


Ollinica · 11/05/2021 02:17

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted

triballeader · 14/05/2021 16:11

My brother drank himself into end stage alcoholism till it killed him.

Sadly the damage done is not going to be limited to just your sisters liver. By the time my brother had liver failure [five years ago] he also had problems with his guts, his kidneys, his brain function and no- no new liver from anyone would magically make that all get better ever again. I did cough up funds for serious detox rehab but again- way too late he should have done this when he was told if he kept drinking his liver would fail.

He did not have kids.
I do.

I choose to protect my kids from his drinking and all that it bought with it.


Lovelouise6778 · 01/08/2021 15:04

Hi all,
Thankyou for commenting on this thread.
I just wanted to give a quick update - so it turns out that my sister is not fit enough for the transplant. The hospital have said they have done all they can but unfortunately not a lot can be done now it's all about symptom control. She has severe oedema, diabetes and malnutrition.
Just really upset now because it seems like she will leave us. She even told me that "it's her time to go from this world"


disconnected101 · 02/08/2021 11:20

Lovelouise6778 so sorry to hear this - and I hope this doesn't sound trite - but you know now for certain that you couldn't have saved her and I hope the weight has lifted from your shoulders somewhat. You must have felt tormented by the decision you felt you had to make & now that burden has been taken away from you. I hope you now won't be living with 'what if'.
I can't imagine what you're going through now though, knowing that you're going to lose your sister. I hope you can spend meaningful time together now. Flowers


ohfufoxsake · 03/08/2021 09:11

So sorry OP. I remember your heart wrenching posts. She should know that she is clearly loved and you can rest easy knowing that you absolutely couldn't have done anymore than show her the show her the love and support that you did. You did all you could. Sending you love and strength xxx


justasmalltownmum · 03/08/2021 10:43

No. My children need me more


triballeader · 05/08/2021 09:09

Watching a sibling you grew up with die from end stage alcoholism is not great. Nothing you could have done would alter any of this and its so darn hard. The closest I can describe it as is its like watching so many small deaths start to snowball into the last part of the slow car crash of anticipatory and current grief that alcoholism inflicts on the wider family. My brothers actual dying day was far gentler than all that lead up to that point. I know hospital staff did all they could to keep him clean, comfortable and pain free with a dead liver and sepsis. TBH I used to worry he would die alone in pain in a back alley after being beaten up- things that his life style choices were starting to bring upon him.

I did however have frank discussions with my kids about their uncles drinking being the reason they did not see him very often and then for only short periods of time. Most will signpost towards Al-Anon but I found info available on the // website for relatives of far more use in those dark pre-death days when his behaviour, delusions and demands sky-rocketed. My biggest fight was pointing out to stat’ services that even though my brother claimed I was his full-time carer because I had done all I could to help him access services I was now low contact due to the increasing severity of his behaviour resulting from his drinking and my need to protect my children from the kind of people he was now associating with. Be prepared for that one. My heart felt awful saying I could not care but my head was saying I needed to step away as he could not see he had a real problem with drink and now drugs.

May your sister not only be offered but feel able to accept the care she needs at this time. Try and locate some kind of support for yourself be that a friend who can really listen, a support group or even an activity you enjoy taking part in. I wish I could tell you the next few weeks and months will be easier but sadly they often are not. Be as kind and gentle with yourself as you can be.

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