The Ottawa Senators have reached out to their fans and the hockey community as owner Eugene Melnyk, 55, is in "urgent need" of a live liver transplant.
The statement was released Thursday morning by the Senators, stating that three weeks ago Melnyk was admitted to hospital due to the onset of "liver-related complications." While there has been no diagnosis released, the statement goes on to say that Melnyk's family and friends are in hopes that doctors can find what is referred to as a "live liver donor."
"The liver is a highly resilient organ that can regenerate itself within 90-120 days and return back to its normal size,” said Dr. Atul Humar, the Medical Director of the University Health Network’s Multi-Organ Transplant Program, in the team's statement. “Any healthy adult between the ages of 18-55 years could be a potential live liver donor. To date, over 600 live liver donor transplants have been performed at the University Health Network. All donors have returned to normal lives with no restrictions.”
According to the Senators, Melnyk has been battling health issues since mid-January, but any problems with his health were kept within his family circle.
"Mr. Melnyk has consistently remained very private on matters of a personal or family nature," the statement says.
Melnyk took over ownership of the Senators in August 2003 when the team was facing bankruptcy. Formerly the owner of the OHL's St. Michael's Majors, Melnyk made his career in the pharmaceutical industry before becoming the Senators' owner.
Those interested in aiding Melnyk can get more information by heading to the University Health Network's Liver Donor Manual and those interested in being tested to see if they would be a suitable donor can complete this form and fax it to Toronto General Hospital's Living Donor Assessment Office at 416-340-4317.