Liver swap for 9lb baby

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The Independent Online
A BABY boy was recovering in hospital today after becoming the smallest liver transplant patient in Europe. Surgeons cut down an adult donor's liver to 15 times its size for the operation on eight-month-old Liam Hamer.

It is believed to be the first time such a large organ has been used for such a tiny child. Liam weighs just 9lbs. His mother, Zoe Redman, 17, from Huddersfield, gave birth two months prematurely.

Doctors at St James's Hospital, Leeds, say he has an 80 per cent chance of reaching five years if he makes a full recovery. After that he is expected to lead a near-normal life.

Liam, who weighed 3lb when he was born in January, became seriously ill when his liver failed. The hospital said yesterday that the 12-hour operation on Thursday had been a success.

Peter Lodge, consultant transplant surgeon, said: 'We have waited to transplant for three months . . . but Liam became so sick we had to use an adult liver and cut it down.'

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