Senators owner Melnyk needs liver transplant, turns to public for donor

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk urgently needs a liver transplant and the NHL club has put out a call for a potential "live donor."

 

Mr. Melnyk was admitted to hospital three weeks age due to "liver-related complications," the team said in a release Thursday.

 

His family has reached out to close friends and relatives with the hope of finding a suitable donor candidate but hasn't been successful, the team said. The Senators and the Melnyk family are looking for "any members of the public who may be interested in being a live liver donor."

This process involves the removal of a portion of the living donor's liver so it can be transplanted into the recipient patient.

The Senators have been hit hard with health issues recently. General manager Bryan Murray has Stage 4 colon cancer and assistant coach Mark Reeds died of cancer last month.

Mr. Melnyk had been conspicuously absent from the Sens' surprise playoff run this spring.

"Today, the club wishes to share with the hockey community and our fans that Mr. Melnyk has been sick and battling major health issues since mid-January," the team said. "Since then, his medical care and treatment have been the sole focus for him and his family."

According to Dr. Atul Humar, the medical director of the University Health Network's organ transplant program in Toronto, the liver is a highly resilient organ that can regenerate itself within 90-120 days and return back to its normal size.

"Any healthy adult between the ages of 18-55 years could be a potential live liver donor," Mr. Humar said in the team statement.