Live liver donor: How mum risked her life to save baby son


Special bond: Charlie Joannidiss with mum Vanja in hospital.

TWO matching scars are the only signs of the extraordinary sacrifice a mother made to save her only son’s life.

When they stand in the mirror the reverse L shaped scars running down their chest and abdomen stand for life, a little bit of luck and a whole lot of love.

For beneath these wounds lies a liver that the pair now share after Vanja Joannidis donated part of her organ to her baby boy, Charlie.

The Melbourne mother has become only the second person in the state’s history to have her liver split and given to a child in a rare live donation.

Charlie’s saviour came at a critical time for the 18 month old baby.

The sickness had not just coloured him a sickly shade of yellow, it had shaped him so his belly swelled like a heavily pregnant woman, and now, it threatened to destroy him.

For his parents, the most frightening part was the rapid deterioration of their tiny son, marked by severe gastrointestinal bleeding.

"He was vomiting blood, it was like the exorcist, " Mrs Joannidis said. Continue reading