By Cigdem Alyanak
ISTANBUL (AA) - An opera student in the Turkish metropolis Istanbul donated his liver to his cancer-diagnosed father, despite the risk of losing his voice due to the operation.
Mazlum Dogan, an opera student at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, gave three quarters of his liver to help save his 48-year-old father, Ali Dogan, who was diagnosed last May with doctors telling him he had only one month to live.
Though Ali Dogan protested, the son refused to accept any other donor for his father, asking surgeon Sinasi Sevmis to grant him his wish of becoming a donor.
After a meticulous and successful transplant last August, the father regained his health, and Mazlum Dogan got through the operation without damage to his diaphragm and, thus, his voice.
Son Dogan told Anadolu Agency that money and livelihood were not matters to be considered when one's family was on the line.
"My father is a young person. There's a lot for him to live and experience," he said, adding that his future opera career was not important for him next to his father's health.
He said a doctor who performed the surgery assured him that the incision had been made without damaging his diaphragm, a very important organ for opera singers.
"The operation was difficult. The organ transplant was our way of salvation. We knew we'd lose my father," said Mazlum Dogan, adding that he had had no problems with his upper respiratory tract or diaphragm after the operation.
He underlined that he had been 18 years old when he donated his liver, adding that in order to increase public awareness about organ donation, he made a short film on the subject in cooperation with Yeni Yuzyil University Gaziosmanpasa Hospital, where the operation was done.
Beaming with pride at his son, father Dogan said he hoped his family's example would increase awareness on organ donorship.
"I'm very well now. Now I can dream, I am stepping into the future," he said, adding that the operation was a "rebirth" for him.
Dr. Sevmis, for his part, urged people to be more sensitive about organ donation.
"Because there is nothing more pleasing than giving life," he said.
* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev