Potential liver donors for Senators owner decide to continue process for others

Potential liver donors for Senators owner decide to continue process for others

Eugene Melnyk underwent a successful liver transplant on Tuesday, and the Ottawa Senators owner and the anonymous donor are resting comfortably as they recover.

“He is stable and he is not talking, but he is responsive, so when people talk to him he understands,” said team president Cyril Leeder, via the Ottawa Citizen. “His colour is improving, so it looks like the liver is functioning the way it should.”

Melnyk released a statement via the Senators on Thursday:

We are delighted and relieved that Eugene’s post-transplantation recovery is progressing very well.

In the past 36 hours, we have already witnessed a dramatic improvement in Eugene’s overall condition.

We wish to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to the “miracle workers” who are part of the University Health Network’s Multi-Organ Transplant Program: from the transplant surgeons, to the medical directors, to the surgical and medical team including the nurse practitioners, fellows, medical residents and the many, many nurses -- all of whom have worked seamlessly and tirelessly to save Eugene’s life. You have had a profoundly positive impact on our family, and for this we are forever grateful.

And to the anonymous donor, you are an incredible person and we truly admire your unselfish act of kindness and courage to be a living liver donor. We are so grateful to you and to your support system of family and close friends who have helped you take this brave journey to save Eugene’s life. You remain in our thoughts and prayers as we wish you a speedy and full recovery.

In due time, Eugene will want to personally express his thanks to all the wonderful staff that are part of the University Health Network’s world-class liver transplant program.

In the interim and on behalf of the Melnyk family, thank you for allowing us to publicly express our heartfelt gratitude to these remarkable people who have touched our lives in a way we will never forget.


The Melnyk Family

According to doctors, Melnyk will be released within the next two weeks and will be fully recovered in six months time.

More than 500 people applied to be a donor for Melnyk, and while one was found quickly, the great news out of all this is that, according to the Senators, more than 20 of them have chosen to be donors for someone else.

One motivation for the donor to come forward and help? "[B]ring the Stanley Cup home to the Ottawa Senators," according to a member of Melnyk's medical team.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!