A special gift

Nancy Kelly
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Mother donating part of liver to eight-month-old

FALMOUTH – Over $14,000 was raised at a benefit sponsored Dec. 14 by the Port Williams Lions Club for Amber Rhynold and Charlie Pemberton, whose eight-month-old son Brantley is scheduled to undergo a liver transplant the week before Christmas.

Brantley and his parents, who reside in Falmouth, headed to Toronto in November after their son was diagnosed with a liver condition that has affected him since birth.  Following two weeks of intensive testing, doctors concluded Amber was her son’s live donor match. A procedure to remove 15 per cent of her liver, which would be transplanted into her son just hours after her surgery, was scheduled for Dec. 19.

At the benefit, Brantley’s grandparents, Andy and Heather Rhynold of Sheffield Mills, explained the family will stay in Toronto for two months after the surgeries.

“Brantley will remain in Sick Kids (hospital) for two months until surgery has healed his liver and to make sure it is working properly,” said Heather.  

Amber will remain in a Toronto-area hospital for five to seven days after her surgery, but faces a six-week recovery period. During that time, she and her husband will reside at Ronald McDonald House in Toronto to be near their son.

Andy said they have been told the procedure has a 98 per cent success rate.

“That is encouraging, but it has been a hard thing to deal with. People have really come together to help our family through this,” he said.

The Rhynolds were preparing to travel to Toronto to spend Christmas with the Amber, Charles and Brantley.

“We will stay until Amber is back on her feet and Brantley is getting stable. Members of Charles’s family will be there to offer support in the following weeks,” said Heather, who was looking forward to seeing her step-daughter and grandson, who “smiles non-stop,” she said.

“Even when we are on Facetime, he is smiling and reaching out for us,” she added. 

Money raised at the fundraiser will help the family cover medical and travel expenses associated with Brantley’s illness.  Richard Wallace, who helped organize the event, said money continued to be donated after the benefit. 

See additional photos at KingsCountyNews.ca



Organizations: Port Williams Lions Club for Amber Rhynold, Ronald McDonald House

Geographic location: Toronto, FALMOUTH

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