By Kaan Bozdogan
ISTANBUL (AA) – A cross-liver transplant surgery in Istanbul bestowed a fresh start in life to Turkish and Ukrainian families.
Ukrainian Mykola Pavliv, 39, was diagnosed with cirrhosis in 2017.
Pavliv was denied medical operation in Italy due to the blood imcompatibility with the relatives, despite their volunteering.
Unaware was Pavlov before going to Turkey that he would coincide with 66-year-old Suleyman Onal — who was also seeking a liver transplant — at a private hospital in Istanbul to find the suitable liver donor.
Living in southeastern Hakkari province, Onal — a Turkish citizen with Kurdish descent — applied to a state hospital in eastern Van province in search of suitable donor following a traffic accident in 2014.
Blood incompatibility was also what Onal suffered.
The contact between hospitals in Istanbul and Van paved the way for a cross-liver transplant between Pavliv and Onal families.
Accompanied with his son Izzet Onal, the father Onal travelled to Istanbul to meet the Ukrainian couple.
Speaking in Kurdish, the Onal family communicated with the Ukrainian patient and his wife Larysa Pavlov via translators and sign language.
The cross-liver transplant operation was held simultaneously when Pavliv’s wife gave her kidney to the father Onal, and the liver of son Onal was transplanted to the husband Pavliv.
“I have gained my health in Turkey,” Pavliv told Anadolu Agency after the transplantation.
Pavlov assured that they would keep their friendship with Onal family.
Onal, the father-to-seven, voiced his surprise to hear that a Ukrainian family agreed to have a cross-liver transplantation.
“I got quite surprised when I learnt [that the donor was a Ukrainian family]. I did never expect it. That’s totally chance,” Onal told Anadolu Agency.
“I recovered upon the operation. My mood lifted.”