This Mom is so incredibly relieved the surgery went well for the bravest man I know as well as for his brother in law Steve. My Monty (right) gave the gift of life by being the donor for a live liver transplant.
The following short story written by donor’s wife Tammy Gillard, sister of the man receiving the liver transplant.
“As many of you know by now, my brother Steve Matusch was diagnosed with a rare liver- related disease which developed into liver cancer about a year ago. Monday September 9th he underwent a 12 hour transplant operation at Toronto General Hospital and I am thrilled to report that he is doing very well so far!!
What I haven’t been sharing widely is that my husband Monty Gillard was my brother’s donor and that day he underwent a 9 hour operation to give my brother the gift of life. I haven’t shared this information until now at Monty’s request because – well because that is just the sort of man my husband is. From the day he undertook his first screening test last November he knew he wanted to be able to help my family for every right reason that there is. So that my brother could be given the chance to see his children grow up and so his children wouldn’t lose the devoted father he is. For all of the people he has lost in his life already to diseases like cancer and heart disease that he couldn’t help. And as he groggily told me just a few moments ago in the recovery room, because he didn’t want to see the love of his life go through such grief if he could do anything to prevent it.
This entire experience, from the day my brother told me about his diagnosis a year ago until this very moment, has truly been life changing. For all of us who have ridden the roller coaster of emotions along with Steve as he has fought like hell to get to this day and this outcome. I don’t believe any of us will ever be the same people that we were before this happened. And I can honestly say that I will never be able to express just how profound a gift Monty has given our family. But that’s just it. He didn’t do it for the thank you or the compliments. He did it because his love is as unconditional and as generous and as selfless as it comes. He already was my love. Now he is also my hero.
(edited for clarity)
There are 400 liver transplants each year in Canada but of those only 16 are transplants from a live donor.
Monty Gillard is a grand son of Lionel Vincent Conant, of Oliver who passed away after a two year battle with cancer in March of 2018. Monty is – a son of Louise Conant of Oliver.
Thanks to Monty, Tammy and Louise for freely speaking on the record.