WATCH: More than 400 people worldwide have offered to donate part of their liver to Binh Wagner after hearing the story of how only her sister Phuoc could get the transplant from their father. Sean Mallen has the story
TORONTO – An Ontario mother is calling her husband a hero after he underwent surgery to donate a portion of his liver to save the life of their twin daughter.
Ontario father, 3-year-old daughter recovering after liver transplant
Father of Ontario twins in need of liver transplants goes into surgery
“I would like also to give a special thank you to my partner in crime, my best friend, my hero, the best man I know out there my husband,” said Joanne Wagner during a press conference in Toronto on Thursday.
“Thank you Michael for offering, giving the best present ever to our daughter.”
Michael Wagner gave part of his liver to Phuoc – one of his twin daughters who have a genetic disorder called Alagille syndrome.
It affects the girls’ vital organs and they would die without a liver transplant.
READ MORE: Ontario reached record number of organ donors in 2014
The Ontario father and his three-year-old daughter are recovering in hospital after both underwent “successful” liver transplant surgeries.
“10 to 15 per cent of the liver was removed from the left side,” said Dr. Gary Levy. “The surgery was six hours in length and he’ll be in hospital for another week.”
Doctors say Wagner’s liver is expected to grow back to its regular size in eight to 12 weeks.
WATCH: Joanne Wagner calls her husband a “hero.”
The two surgeries on Tuesday lasted 13 hours at the Toronto General Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children.
The Kingston, Ont., family is still waiting for a liver donor for Phuoc’s sister, Binh.
Dr. Levy says they’ve received over 400 health histories and are in the process of breaking down the list of possible donors.
“We anticipate within the next short while, 7 to 14 days, we will define several individuals who can step forward for Binh,” he said.
READ MORE: Parents of ailing twins cast a wide net to find liver donor
Meanwhile, Joanne Wagner is grateful for the support her family has received since they went public with their story.
“I would like to thank everyone who has chosen to support us in this journey,” said Wagner. “This was quite a surprise to see how viral our story went.”
“I would like to thank the very courageous people who have come on board to volunteer to be live liver donors. This takes a lot of courage.”
With files from