life-saving transplant: A mother has donated part of her liver to her toddler son through an innovative surgical technique.
Doctors at King’s College Hospital in London, who carried out the operation, said Teddy Nicholls, who is 21 months old, now has “the chance to grow normally like any other child”.
Teddy was born with a rare inherited disease called neonatal hemochromatosis, which can cause liver failure in babies and can be fatal if left untreated.
A liver donation from his mother Mrs. Emma Nichols is Teddy’s second life-saving transplant.
He first needed a life-saving transplant in April 2022 at just 10 weeks old, using part of his liver from a deceased donor.
Ms. Nichols was unable to donate at the time because she passed away so soon after giving birth.
The latest procedure was needed to increase the blood flow needed for Teddy’s long-term survival.
For both operations, doctors at King’s College Hospital used a technique called a traumatic vein monosegment liver transplant.
This procedure is when a donated liver – from a dead or living person – is reduced in size to match the dimensions of the baby’s body.
The only solution is to wait for a deceased donor liver from another tiny baby, which King’s College Hospital says is “rare”.
Mrs. Nicholls said: “I knew I wanted to do everything possible to help my son, and as a family, we were so grateful to the donor and their family who saved Teddy’s life with his first organ transplant that there was no doubt about the step. I didn’t have any. If needed.”
Three weeks after the operation, Teddy returned home to his mother in Cambridgeshire to enjoy Christmas with his father Greg Nicholls, and five-year-old brother Theo Nicholls.
Mrs Nicholls added: “I am extremely grateful to the whole hospital team from the theaters to the wards where we stayed. They take care of me and Teddy every step of the way.
“To be home as a family in time for Christmas makes us feel so blessed and so grateful to everyone at King’s College Hospital.”
It is understood that King’s College Hospital usually sees one or two cases of neonatal hemochromatosis each year.
Dr Hector Wilka Melendez, consultant transplant surgeon at King’s College NHS Foundation Hospital, said: “I am delighted that Teddy and Emma are doing so well, and thanks to his mother’s donation, Teddy has the chance to grow normally. every child
“Watching Teddy grow from his first visit soon after birth, when he was very unwell, to now being a happy and lively 21-month-old, is a wonderful tribute to the importance of organ donation and the fantastic work of our team at King’s Is. ”