19-year-old Cowichan girl needs new liver to save her life

COWICHAN VALLEY CITIZEN | Robert Barron

Natalie Williams, right, has Biliary atresia and requires a new liver to survive. Williams and her family, including her mother Nickie, left, have begun a website that deals with issues around the disease and organ transplants in general. — Image Credit: [Robert Barron/Citizen]
Natalie Williams waits every day for a phone call that she hopes will save her young life.

Williams, 19, was diagnosed with the life-threatening liver disease biliary atresia as a child and is now on a transplant list for a new liver that is expected to take many months to become available.

But, like many organs that come from donors, livers available for transplants are scarce, so Williams’s task of finding a matching liver in a timely manner is daunting.

With statistics indicating that one in three people who need to have a liver transplant die waiting, Williams wants people to know how important it is for them to volunteer to donate their organs when they die, and make sure their wishes are known among their family members.

Williams said surveys conclude that 90 per cent of Canadians have indicated they would be willing to donate their organs.

But only 18 per cent of Canadians have actually placed themselves on an organ registry for transplants, one of the lowest rates in the industrialized world. Continue reading
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