Ukrainian, Turk recover after cross-liver transplant
A cross-liver transplant surgery in Istanbul bestowed a fresh start in life to Turkish and Ukrainian families.
Ukrainian Mykola Pavliv, 39, was diagnosed with cirrhosis in 2017. Pavliv was denied medical operation in Italy due to blood incompatibility with the relatives, despite their volunteering.
Pavliv was unaware before going to Turkey that he would coincide with 66-year-old Süleyman Önal, who was also seeking a liver transplant, at a private hospital in Istanbul to find the suitable liver donor.
Living in the southeastern Hakkari province, Önal applied to a state hospital in the eastern Van province in search of a suitable donor following a traffic accident in 2014.
Blood incompatibility was also what Önal suffered from.
The contact between hospitals in Istanbul and Van paved the way for a cross-liver transplant between the Pavliv and Önal families.
Accompanied with his son İzzet Önal, the father travelled to Istanbul to meet the Ukrainian couple.
The cross-liver transplant operation was held simultaneously when Pavliv’s wife gave her kidney to the father Önal, and the liver of son Önal was transplanted to the husband Pavliv.
“I have gained my health in Turkey,” Pavliv told state-run Anadolu Agency after the transplantation.
Pavliv assured that they would keep their friendship with the Önal family.
Önal, the father of seven, voiced his surprise to hear that a Ukrainian family agreed to have a cross-liver transplantation.
“I got quite surprised when I learnt [that the donor was a Ukrainian family]. I never expected it. That’s totally a chance,” Önal said.
“I recovered upon the operation. My mood lifted.”