My son Kaisei was born weighing 3,114 grams and bigger than my first son. He had jaundice, which made me worried a little, but doctor told me that there was no problem with the data. I stopped worrying about the jaundice also because he kept having plenty of breast milk.
When I took him to a 1-month medical checkup, I felt relieved to hear that there was no problem with the jaundice. But after a while, I started becoming a little concerned about his wrists being curled up and stiff. When I took him to a 2-month medical checkup, he was diagnosed as having umbilical hernia and referred to a hospital that had the department of pediatric surgery. I took him to another hospital by the end of that day and doctor told me that he was more concerned about jaundice than umbilical hernia and Kaisei was diagnosed with biliary atresia based on stool color, which was paler than usual. CT scan was conducted immediately and it showed that Kaisei’s liver had swollen twice the normal size and bile was not flowing from the bile duct. Furthermore, it showed that there was bleeding in the head and he was immediately sent to the National Center for Child Health and Development with a nurse’s advice. One week after that, it was decided that he would undergo a surgery. The first operation went well and Kaisei was discharged from the hospital but because liver data did not improve, it was decided to perform a living donor liver transplant surgery on him.
I did not hesitate about becoming the donor for his liver transplant surgery because I was frustrated by the fact that there was nothing I could do for Kaisei as his mother in his first surgery, even unable to hold him in my arms and feed him milk, and I was glad that I finally could do something for him!
I was discharged from the hospital in the ninth day from the operation but I was barely able to walk due to pain after surgery. I still remember that as I was walking in the House, a mother of a child spoke to me: “Are you a donor by any chance? I can tell because I had the same experience.” Since I was informed of Kaisei’s illness, I have been struggling with bottled-up feelings because I asked around but nobody knew about the illness and I could not consult with my parents and friends. But I have found that in the House, there are mothers whom I could talk about my worries. There are the things that could only be shared and understood by the mothers I met in the House and talking with them has helped lift a load off my mind.
Kaisei is expected to be out of the hospital in one or two months. He will need to come to see a doctor but I am looking forward the day when Kaisei will be spending time at home again with all my family members, the joy that our family has never experienced before.