Just instinct' to give liver to young Gianna-Lynn

Mention the word hero and Russell resident, Ken Budel, recoils with horror and utter embarrassment. He's anything but, he says - just an ordinary guy whose daughter's friend was in trouble and he wanted to try and help. In fact, he donated part of his liver ten days ago and that's hopefully saved the life of young Gianna-Lynn Favilla, from Russell, who was in desperate need of a transplant. Just over a week later, her donor is up and about walking his dog - a little winded and tired at times - but "feeling great," he says
OTTAWA CITIZEN | Elizabeth Payne

Ken Budel doesn’t remember making the decision to donate part of his liver to eight-year-old Gianna-Lynn Favilla, the little Russell girl who is a playmate of his own eight-year-old daughter. When her family made a public appeal for a liver donor earlier this year, he just knew he would put up his hand to volunteer.

“It wasn’t really a thought. There wasn’t a decision that needed to be made. It was just instinct.”

The 41-year-old employee of the Ottawa-based Crown corporation Defence Construction Canada is back home in Russell recuperating after about 20 per cent of his liver was removed during surgery at Toronto General Hospital on the morning of April 20. The organ was then rushed across the street to the Hospital for Sick Children, where it was transplanted into Gianna-Lynn. In the recovery room, Brudel remembers saying “there is nothing more I can do.”

Gianna-Lynn suffers from Crohn’s disease and had a condition that caused inflammation of the bile ducts which had badly damaged her liver. Earlier this year, she was put on a donor list, in need of a new liver to save her life. Continue reading.
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