The emotional moment a daughter reunited with her father whose life she had just saved by donating part of her liver has been captured on film.
Tiffany Knapp and her father Richard Burdge can’t hold back the tears as she is wheeled into his recovery room and they reach out to hold hands.
Richard was diagnosed with liver cancer aged 62 and had been fighting an uphill battle against the illness when doctors revealed he would need a transplant if he was to have any chance of surviving.
But despite completing a long list of tests to qualify him for the deceased donation list, statistics were heavily weighted against him – more than 16,000 people are in need of a liver transplant each year with only 6,000 deceased donor organs becoming available.
It left the family with no alternative but to try and find a living donor.
Tiffany said: “When my dad was first diagnosed, my family created flyers and spread the word that we needed a living donor for him through email and Facebook.
“We did have a few friends and family come forward to try and donate but none were able to make it all the way through the qualifying process for various reasons.
-Scroll down to see video below-
“My brother was a different blood type and my sister went to get tested but because of the fact that my family really wanted her to be my father’s caregiver, we decided that she wouldn’t be the right fit.”
After the extensive search looked like it wouldn’t result in a positive donor match, there was suddenly a ray of hope.
Having just given birth, Tiffany had not been able to undergo the necessary tests until six months post-partum.
But a subsequent test revealed Tiffany was a perfect match.
And despite the family having reservations about her donating because of her three young children, Tiffany decided to undergo the surgery at NY Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York when her father’s tumour began growing again in a desperate bid to help save his life.
She added: “Once I found out I was a great match I was determined to donate my liver.
“At first my parents didn’t want me to because I have three kids under four years old and given the possibilities of complications, but when one of his tumors started growing back after months of chemo, we knew he had to get the transplant soon.”
During the surgery, Tiffany had 65% of her liver removed which was then transplanted to her father, whose entire liver was removed and replaced with the donor organ.
And after both surgeries were deemed a success, the pair made rapid recoveries – much quicker than doctors expected.
Within a few days of the surgery, the pair were well enough to reunite. successful surgeries for them both, the pair were left to recover from the arduous procedures for a few days.
Tiffany was wheeled in a wheelchair to see her father for the first time, with the emotional moment the pair catch sight of each other reducing everyone in the room to tears.
Holding his daughters’ hand at his bedside, Richard – known as Ricky to friends – thanked Tiffany and the pair began discussing their operations and the various post-operation medication they were on.
Soon they were smiling, with dad Richard even joking Tiffany had jumped to the top of his will thanks to her kind generosity.
Sister Tammy, who filmed the reunion, said: “My sister was so brave and donated over half her liver to my father who was battling liver cancer in the hopes of saving his life.
“We want to spread the word about the importance of organ donation and show the world what it can do.”
Tiffany added: “It was emotional seeing my father for the first time after donating my liver to him.
“There were tears of joy all around.”
Richard is now cancer free and being monitored by doctors to ensure the cancer doesn’t return.
Story courtesy of T&T Creative Media.