Giving life to a stranger: 16-year-old gets donor liver in first such transplant in Singapore

54-year-old Peter Lim Kok Seng donated part of his liver to 16-year-old Lim Si Jia in March this year. (Photo: Wendy Wong)
SINGAPORE: A 16-year-old girl has been given a new lease of life after receiving a donor liver in Singapore’s first altruistic liver donation without a specific recipient in mind.

When she was eight, Lim Si Jia was diagnosed with glycogen storage disease, a rare genetic condition where the body is incapable of producing a critical enzyme needed to break down glycogen – the body’s store of sugar. In the liver varieties of the disease, the glycogen accumulates in the liver and often results in the organ swelling.

Si Jia’s mother, Mrs Lim Lai Kum, said that she noticed that her daughter’s stomach was protruding – a symptom her older brother, who suffers from the same disease, had as well. Her brother, who is now 18, successfully underwent a liver transplant last year.

Si Jia had to have a regular feed of uncooked starch, such as corn starch mixed with water, which she would take every night. The uncooked starch serves as a constant supply of glucose to the body. But over time, the accumulation of unused glucose as glycogen in the liver can cause tumours to develop and become cancerous. Continue reading
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