TORONTO — Thornhill, Ont., resident Bradley Ezra, 52, has never asked for anything.
But now he needs a live liver donor for a liver transplant or he won’t survive, someone between 18 and 60 with O Positive blood type, who is healthy, willing and able to donate.
Ezra was employed by Canada Post. He suffers from Crohn’s disease, and in 1988, he had emergency surgery for an abscess. His disease was under control until 1995. Then, suffering with massive pain, he had to go on disability insurance.
“With medication,” Ezra says, “my life turned around and I was able to enjoy my meals again.”
In August this year, Ezra again had severe pain and went to the hospital with kidney stones. “We were thrilled with the results of the treatment,” says Gail Levine, Ezra’s partner for 13 years.
“Our joy was short-lived,” she adds. “A radiologist at the hospital, who had some concerns, arranged further testing, and six weeks later Bradley was diagnosed with primary liver cancer.”
With chemotherapy, the tumours are not spreading but the therapy will only buy him time, Ezra says.
He does not meet the criteria for a deceased liver donor.
Most often, liver transplants are done with close relatives. Ezra’s family and many close friends have been tested, but they are not a blood type match or are not medically well enough. The blood type of the donor and the recipient must be compatible but not always identical.
In a live donor liver transplant, a portion of the liver is surgically removed from the liver donor and transplanted into the recipient immediately after the recipient’s liver has been entirely removed.
This is possible because, unlike other organs in the body, the liver has the ability to regenerate or grow within a period of four to eight weeks after surgery.
“It is considered a mitzvah to save someone from danger,” Levine told The CJN. If you are considering helping or if you have any questions, contact Gail Levine at [email protected]