Man, 45, dies despite 50 people offering to donate liver, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Man, 45, dies despite 50 people offering to donate liver

He fell into a coma from acute liver failure on Christmas Day, prompting his family to issue an urgent plea for liver donors.

But before a suitable donor could be found among the 50 people who came forward to help, Mr Desmond Lee, 45, died on Jan 3.

Mr Lee was told he had liver failure due to a viral infection caused by a pre-existing Hepatitis B condition. He was in critical condition when he was sent to Singapore General Hospital on Dec 24, 2023.

His wife, Ms Jacqueline Huang, 38, told Shin Min Daily News that out of the many people who had offered to be donors, two contacted her on New Year’s Day but were found to be unsuitable.

The next day, two others came forward and had their blood tested. But before the results came back, Mr Lee started having seizures.

The doctors told Ms Huang that Mr Lee’s brain was damaged, and he was no longer suitable for a transplant.

“His condition became even worse the next day,” she said. “The doctors asked us to consider terminating life support.”

When Ms Huang relayed the unfortunate news to the rest of the family, everyone was crushed.

“We all wept when we made the decision. But he will keep suffering if we decide to keep him on life support.”

Mr Lee was taken off life support and died within 15 minutes. Ms Huang said it was too devastating for her and her two daughters to see him go, so they waited outside the ward.

“The doctors said he passed away peacefully,” she said.

Ms Huang added that her daughters, aged four and seven, were kept in the dark about what happened to their father. She was worried that they would be afraid and only let them see him through video calls.

She said: “It might be better for them not to understand what happened. Then they wouldn’t have to go through the sorrow.”

The stoic wife said she was heartbroken, but had to stay strong for her daughters.

Ms Huang also wanted to thank everyone who had answered the family’s plea.

“I’m very grateful for everyone’s help,” she said. “I’m really, very grateful.”

liver failureDeathliver donor