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Megan undergoes liver transplant

After months of waiting, surgery was performed on the four-year-old Sunday at Toronto's Sick Children's Hospital.
Megan Leverrier

They were hoping for a miracle – and they got one.

Megan Leverrier’s family received the word on Saturday they had been praying for. A liver had become available for transplant, a child’s liver.

“I’m just so thrilled,” said Megan’s aunt Tracey Nickolson Monday, who has remained in the Shuswap. “Everything worked out like clockwork – it was definitely the miracle we were waiting for.”

The blood type of the child donor who had died was a match for Megan, so surgery was scheduled immediately.

“It happened so fast, we’re still in shock,” she says, her voice bubbling with gratitude for the bitter-sweet gift. “It’s the greatest gift of life.”

Surgery began at 5 a.m. Toronto time Sunday and, for the next eight hours, 21 doctors worked to remove four-year-old Megan’s liver and the huge tumour attached to it – and then replace it with the donor liver.

Michelle and Jaime, Megan’s parents, posted on Facebook Monday that the tumour weighed 13.2 pounds, almost double Megan’s birth weight.

Megan remains in the intensive care unit in Toronto’s Sick Children’s Hospital, the facility she has been in since April as doctors have attempted to shrink the tumour while waiting for a donor liver.

Her parents write: “She wakes up now and then and tries to talk around her breathing tube but it is important that she rests. We hold her little hand and try to give her as much comfort as possible.”

Now it’s a waiting game.

“As long as her body doesn’t reject it and no infection sets in,” says Nickolson. “The doctors said they couldn’t have done it any better... She was a little trooper getting through that eight-hour surgery. It’s the best we could have hoped for. Everybody’s just elated.”

The Leverriers are expected to have to remain in Toronto for several months as Megan recovers.

Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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