Wesley Norris was diagnosed with a rare liver disease when he was just six weeks old
Wesley Norris, a two-year-old boy from Scotland, is facing a race against time to have a liver transplant after a dangerous virus caused irreversible damage to his organ over Christmas. Wesley was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a rare liver disease that affects one in 18,000 babies, when he was just six weeks old. He had a surgery to create a new bile duct, but it was not successful and he developed cirrhosis of the liver.
Wesley’s condition worsened in December, when he contracted a virus that caused his liver to fail. He was admitted to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, where he received blood transfusions and medication to keep him stable. He was then transferred to the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, which is the only centre in the UK that performs paediatric liver transplants.
Wesley’s parents are appealing for a living donor to save their son’s life
Wesley’s parents, Laura and Scott Norris, are appealing for a living donor to save their son’s life. They are hoping to find someone who is willing to donate a part of their liver to Wesley, as he is unlikely to receive a deceased donor organ in time. Wesley has a rare blood type, O negative, which makes it harder to find a compatible donor.
Laura, 31, said: “We are desperate for a living donor as Wesley’s chances of getting a deceased donor are very slim. He is deteriorating every day and we don’t know how long he has left. He is such a brave and happy boy, despite everything he has been through. He loves playing with his toys and watching Paw Patrol. He deserves a chance to live a normal life.”
Scott, 33, added: “We are so grateful to the staff at both hospitals for looking after Wesley and giving him the best care possible. But we know that the only thing that can save him now is a transplant. We are appealing to anyone who is healthy, aged between 18 and 55, and has blood type O, to please consider becoming a living donor for Wesley. You could be his hero and give him the gift of life.”
Living donor liver transplantation is a complex but lifesaving procedure
Living donor liver transplantation is a complex but lifesaving procedure that involves removing a part of the liver from a healthy donor and transplanting it into a recipient who has end-stage liver disease. The liver is the only organ in the body that can regenerate, so both the donor and the recipient will have a fully functioning liver after the surgery.
The benefits of living donor liver transplantation include:
- Reducing the waiting time for a transplant and the risk of death or deterioration while waiting
- Improving the survival and quality of life of the recipient
- Increasing the availability of deceased donor organs for other patients on the waiting list
The risks of living donor liver transplantation include:
- Complications from the surgery, such as bleeding, infection, bile leakage, or liver failure
- Psychological and emotional issues for the donor and the recipient
- Ethical and legal issues regarding the consent and motivation of the donor
The Scottish Liver Transplant Unit, based in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, is the national service for liver transplantation in Scotland. It offers both deceased donor and living donor liver transplantation to patients who meet the criteria. The Birmingham Children’s Hospital is the only centre in the UK that performs paediatric liver transplants, and it works closely with the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit to provide the best care for children who need a transplant.
How to become a living donor for Wesley or someone else in need
If you are interested in becoming a living donor for Wesley or someone else in need, you can contact the living donor coordinator at the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit on 0131 242 1718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the NHS Blood and Transplant website for more information about living donation and the Organ Donation Scotland website to register as an organ donor.
Wesley’s parents have also set up a Facebook page, Wesley’s Liver Appeal, to raise awareness and funds for their son’s transplant. You can follow their journey and show your support by liking and sharing their page.