Sat, Jun 13, 2009 - Page 2 News List

College student fights flab in bid to save father’s life

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

A college student has lost 17.4kg over the past six months to prepare himself for surgery in a race against time to donate part of his liver to save his father, who is awaiting a transplant.

The 160cm college student surnamed Chou (周), who originally weighed 90kg, is expected to reach his ideal weight of 70kg by the middle of this month. He will then be fit to undergo the liver donation procedure.

Chou’s father was diagnosed with liver disease two years ago and doctors suggested a transplant. Although tests showed that Chou’s liver is a match for his father, his weight made him unfit for surgery and he suffered from a fatty liver.

A weight management center at Taipei Medical University Hospital stepped in to plan a weight-loss program for him.

“Chou’s determination has moved a lot of my colleagues, “ Center director Wang Wei (王偉) said.

Wang inserted a water balloon in Chou’s abdomen last December to reduce the size of his stomach and after six months of careful monitoring, his weight had dropped to 72.6kg.

“I am not afraid at all because I know Taiwan’s surgeons are brilliant,” Chou said yesterday. “Donating [part of my] liver to my father is one way to repay my indebtedness to him.”

The water balloon will be taken out when Chou reaches the ideal weight of 70kg and is ready for the liver donation surgery.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JIMMY CHUANG

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