A 24-year-old Hong Kong woman suffering from a rare medical condition underwent a successful lung transplant on Wednesday, but remains in critical condition.
Queen Mary Hospital said doctors had performed the operation smoothly on Ng Lok-ching, whose family made an urgent plea to the city last Friday for a lung donation, as her lungs and heart had stopped working.
Ng’s life hung by a thread after she suffered from pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD), causing blockages in the veins of her lungs, and heart failure.
The unusual illness was the result of complications developed following a blood transfusion last December, as her body had been unable to produce sufficient blood cells.
We offer our sincere gratitude to the donor and their families … Not only did you extend Lok-ching’s life and allow her to pursue her dreams, you have also saved our whole family
The mother of patient Ng Lok-ching
Her mother said in a statement Ng cried after learning the hospital had found a suitable donor.
“Although she’s already weak and feeble, I saw strands of hope in her tears,” the mother said.
Ng’s doctors earlier made her case the most urgent of all patients waiting to receive a transplant in a city where only six people per million registered as organ donors in 2018, according to the International Registry on Organ Donation and Transplantation.
The mother, who asked to be identified as Mrs Ng, said she and her family had been living in fear over the past few weeks. They cried tears of joy after learning there was a donor.
“We offer our sincere gratitude to the donor and their families … Not only did you extend Lok-ching’s life and allow her to pursue her dreams, you have also saved our whole family,” she said.
Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam is the only institution in Hong Kong capable of performing lung transplants. More than two dozen patients are waiting for the procedure.
The transplant could only come from a deceased patient whose blood type and body weight matched the profile of the patient. Long waiting times and post-surgery complications face those in need of surgery.
Patients on average wait more than a year for a suitable lung transplant, while about one-fifth die before receiving one.
Ng remains in the intensive care unit of the hospital’s cardiothoracic surgery department.
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This article Lung transplant gives Hong Kong woman chance at life after rare disease left her on verge of death first appeared on South China Morning Post