He donated his liver to a complete stranger

Chow Wei Lin

His wife thought he was joking and his children said he was crazy, but this did not deter Mr Chow Wei Lin, 48, from donating part of his liver to a little girl he has never even met.

Explaining his decision this morning, Mr Chow, a technician supervisor at a factory that makes wall partitions and other construction material, said: “If it had been my children who needed the liver and neither my wife nor I could donate, I would wish for someone to come forward to help.”

When he told his family his reason for doing so, they swung solidly behind him in support, although they still worried that something might go wrong.

His wife, Madam Wong Yoke Peng, 44, a housewife, said: “He asked the children, if it was you in need, won’t you want others to help? They had no response.”

Mr Chow underwent surgery on Wednesday morning at the National University Hospital. Part of his liver was removed and given to Phyllis Poh, a Primary 5 pupil at Bedok Green Primary School.

Phyllis suffers from a rare disease that causes her liver to fail or become cancerous, as well as her growth to be stunted.

Her mother had already given part of her liver to Phyllis’ brother, 12-year-old Skye, who suffers from the same disease. The children’s father is not a match.

Mr Chow had come forward after Phyllis’ predicament was highlighted in a report in The Straits Times last November.

Yesterday, Mr Chow’s wife told Lianhe Wanbao that her husband’s surgery lasted nine hours, and that he was under observation.

She said he was deeply moved when he read the report about Phyllis last year.

“He told me that the little girl’s blood type is just like his, type O…tell them I want to donate my liver,” she said.

A die-hard smoker for 30 years who could go through up to two packs a day, Mr Chow quit smoking three weeks prior to surgery to ensure that the operation would be a success.

Said his wife with a smile: “It was torturous for him to quit. He kept eating Hacks sweets, and even ate up all the Chinese New Year snacks in the house.”

 

Edited from articles in

www.straitstimes.com, Mar 11, 2014

mypaper.sg, Mar 7, 2014

 

Photo taken  from The Straits Times, March 12, 2014

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