flesh and blood

a very good friend of mine finally decided that she will be giving part of her liver to replace the faulty one that nature gave her adorable, beautiful one-year old boy. my first thoughts as soon as i heard this was: the lengths mothers go through for their children. it's no cliche: mothers will lay down their lives for the sake of their children.

after quite a wait and much heart-rending decision making, she and her husband decided last night that she will be the donor. at first her husband was reluctant to let her go through the process but later on her will and wish prevailed. they're schedule to go to Taiwan mid April for the surgery. Earlier, a relative of her bilas volunteered himself as an organ donor but they refused the generous offer. "How can we ask him to do that for us," she asked me. I had no answer.

Jos has been and i guess will always be, the most beautiful person (inside and out) i have ever met. i will always consider her friendship (and we have a deep one even though a year may pass by without us seeing each other) a privilege, a blessing. she's a very devoted mother, wife, daughter, friend. she lights up a room with her mere presence.

when i first heard about her little boy's health condition, i couldn't quite describe how i felt. and it hasn't left me since. i know how it feels to fret over the smallest spike in my own daughter's temperature. i can just try to imagine how she's coping with this great challenge in her young family's life. i can only assure her of my prayers and hugs and gentle pats on the back -- paltry so it may seem, but what else can i give her?

and yet, she's been so brave through this all. An optimist. But then what mother is not? to think about the opposite is not an option.

and so there we were this afternoon, discussing her son's liver transplant next month amidst celebrations of another college friend's son's 1st birthday. it's so surreal. and yet she's so brave. she's got faith in the powers above and in her doctor and the whole surgical procedure. Their doctor, as well as the hospital, is one of the best, if not the best in the region. i'm just thankful that in her case, money will not be a problem and she's assured that they will be getting the best that the medical community can offer.

I just googled the hospital where the surgery will take place and I am bouyed by this entry:

"Kaohsiung's Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, renowned for its success in liver transplants, has recently completed its 100th such operation, setting a world record in recipient survival.

The hospital maintained its 100 percent survival rate among its liver transplant recipients after its 100th case, a seven-month infant, proved successful, hospital sources said Tuesday."

Although the news item was dated November 7, 2000, it alleviates the fear a bit. If they were that succesful as early as five years ago, imagine their capabilities now.


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