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Moms in donation trade to save each other's tots

By Li Qian (Shanghai Daily)

13:38, September 12, 2012

TWO babies with severe congenital liver disease saw their chances to survive after their mothers were found to be qualified to donate part of their livers to each other's boys.

Zhe Zhe and Tuan Tuan, both born early this year, will receive liver transplant surgery in a Beijing hospital tomorrow in what is described as the nation's first liver donor exchange, the Beijing News reported yesterday.

The baby boys have congenital biliary atresia, a condition in which bile cannot drain from the liver due to an absence or closure of ducts, and a transplant is the only effective method of treatment. Otherwise, patients may die of liver failure.

But the two mothers were frustrated after being told that their blood types didn't match their own sons. Their anxiety grew when their husbands were also disqualified and months of waiting for donors were fruitless.

"I felt the world collapsing," Zhe Zhe's father, Liu Xiang, told the paper. The couple, migrant workers from Hubei Province, said their baby boy already had undergone an operation.

However, the boys' mothers chatted online and found they might be able to save each other's sons.

Yin Chunlin, Tuan Tuan's mother, and her husband, Luo Kaizhi, took the boy to Beijing from Yunnan Province.

The two families raised 100,000 yuan (US$15,780) from relatives and charities for medical expenses. But doctors said the surgery failure rate is still up to 20 percent at the boys' young age.

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