Senators owner Melnyk needs liver donor

The Ottawa Senators made a desperate and unusual public plea Thursday for a donor willing to give a part of his or her liver to save the life of the team’s owner.

Eugene Melnyk, who was noticeably absent from the Senators’ recent first-round NHL playoff run, is in a Toronto hospital in urgent need of a liver transplant, team president Cyril Leeder told a hastily called news conference.

Melnyk’s condition has deteriorated, and “time is of the essence,” Leeder said. Doctors at the Toronto General Hospital have concluded that Melnyk’s condition “is very serious and that the option that must be pursued in his circumstances is that of a live liver donation.”

The 55-year-old Melnyk has a rare blood type — AB — which makes it unlikely for him to find a match from a deceased organ donor,
whose blood must be an exact match. But people with his blood type can accept donations from more blood types with a live donation.

Dr. Atul Humar, medical director of the transplant program, said any healthy adult between 18 and 55 could be a potential live liver donor.
Leeder said anyone considering becoming a donor should read information about being a live liver donor, but should not wait.

“It is very urgent. We are asking people if they are considering it to call us now.”

In a matter of weeks, he said, it could be too late.

The Senators management team has struggled with illness. In April, assistant coach Mark Reeds died of cancer. And general manager Bryan Murray is battling stage 4 colon cancer.

Senators owner Melnyk seriously ill, team seeks liver donor | Ottawa Citizen
Plenty of poor folk in Ottawa. This could be a whole new area of resource extraction.