A Hong Kong newsmaker is chosen each month by HKFP. Click here to view previous nominees. Liver donor Momo Cheng Hoi-yan is selected as our Person of the Month for April 2017.
As Tang Kwai-sze neared death at Queen Mary Hospital owing to acute liver failure, her daughter made a desperate plea for a liver donation. At 17 years and nine months old, she was just three months short of her 18th birthday when she could have donated her own liver in accordance with the Human Organ Transplant Ordinance.
On April 13, 26-year-old office clerk Momo Cheng Hoi-yan donated two-thirds of her liver to Tang. She had never met Tang before.
The donation allowed Tang to survive for another week, after which she received a second liver donation from a dead patient. Her condition improved from critical to stable last week.
Lo Chung-mau, director of Queen Mary Hospital’s Liver Transplant Centre, said Cheng would receive follow-up consultation throughout her lifetime, to monitor any physical or psychological issues.
The case triggered lawmakers to consider drafting an urgent bill to temporarily lower the donation age to 17 so Tang could receive her daughter’s liver, until Cheng stepped in.
The Hong Kong government later said it would consider reviewing the Human Organ Transplant Ordinance in the future, although Lo opposed lowering the age requirement of donors.