Mother donating part of liver to eight-month-old Falmouth boy

Nancy Kelly
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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. 

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

Geographic location: Toronto, Falmouth

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  • charlene dash
    December 18, 2013 - 09:24

    thoughts & prayers are with you all, what a terriffic Christmas gift god bless you all here's hoping for ' a speedy recover. God is looking over you all he is our rock & salvation he will never leave or foresake you depend on it.

  • Roland and Pam Jamieson
    December 18, 2013 - 01:23

    Fantastic real life story. All the best to everyone. Our thoughts are with you all.

  • Ken Rhynold
    December 17, 2013 - 17:18

    I don't think this event was sponsored by port Williams Lions Club although they did donate the use of the hall and also made a donation

    • Ken Rhynold
      December 18, 2013 - 09:42

      Sorry, I was misinformed I guess the event was in fact sponsored by The Port Williams Lions Club and personally want to thank them for the generous donation