Mum Donates Part Of Her Liver To Beat Daughter's 'Incurable' Cancer

14/08/2014 16:51 | Updated 22 May 2015

Mum donates part of her liver to beat daughter's 'incurable' cancer

A seven-year-old girl who was told she had incurable cancer has been saved - after her mother donated part of her liver in a pioneering operation.

Lydia Warner defied the odds to beat pancreatoblastoma - a rare cancer which only affects one child every two years in the UK.

Children with the disease rarely show symptoms when it is in its early stages, and most do not have any symptoms until it is quite advanced.

Doctors told Lydia's parents Kate, 35, and Paul, 39, there was nothing they could do after finding a tumour on Lydia's pancreas near the main blood vessels of her bowel.

Further tests showed the cancer had spread to Lydia's liver, where a cluster of nine small tumours were growing. After being told she was dying, her parents devoted their time to making the most of Lydia's final months and the family even travelled to Disneyland courtesy of the Make a Wish Foundation which helps terminally ill children.

But the couple from Whitley, in Yorkshire, refused to give up on their daughter and kept pushing to find a cure for her.

One of the doctors at their local hospital discussed her case with surgeons at Birmingham Children's Hospital, 116 miles away, who said they may be able to perform transplant surgery to save her.

As a result, her mother, a children's care home manager, donated part of her own liver after tests showed her organs were a perfect match for Lydia.

In April, Lydia underwent a six-hour operation to have her entire liver removed and replaced with a portion of her mother's.

Now, just three months after her life-saving operation, she has returned to school, after being given the all-clear by her doctors.

Kate said: "As soon as we knew I was the right blood type it was a no brainer, it's just what any mother would do for their child.

"When I found out I was the right blood group I just thought 'it's up to me then'.

"I feel happy knowing that Lydia has got a part of my liver and she feels happy as well.

"It's still very surreal to think about but it's unbelievable, she's a miracle. From the first diagnosis I can't believe how far we have come.

"From being told she was dying to now see her jumping and laughing with her friends at school is wonderful. We're really grateful and feel very lucky."

Lydia said she was 'chuffed' to be back at school.

She said: "I have missed all my friends and couldn't wait to see them all again.

"My favourite subject is maths and I'm looking forward to going swimming again. I'm very excited. I'm chuffed it's all over."

The youngster will have to take medication for the rest of her life to ensure her body does not reject the donor liver, and her hearing was damaged by chemotherapy.

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