Many noticed that Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk was unusually quiet during the Sens' miracle run to a playoff berth this year. Today, we found out why. According to a statement released on May 14, Melnyk has been dealing with health problems since mid-January. Naturally, during this time public appearances were out of the question. Melnyk is very out-spoken concerning hockey matters, but is very quiet when it comes to personal matters.
The team revealed that the reason this news was made public is that Melnyk needs a live organ donor. He was admitted to hospital three weeks ago, but was unable to find a suitable match among his close friends and family. Full details are available in the press release linked above, but here are the important parts for anyone who may be interested in being a live liver donor for the Euge:
For more information on being a living liver donor you can access the University Health Network's Liver Donor Manual at:
For anyone interested in being tested to determine if they would be a suitable donor the following form needs to be completed:
The completed form can then be faxed to Toronto General Hospital's Living Donor Assessment Office at 416-340-4317.
For those persons that have inquiries regarding being a donor, the Senators will have staff available to answer calls at 613-599-0100 until 9 p.m. this evening and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 15.
If any persons are having difficulty with faxing the completed medical forms to the hospital, the Senators will be happy to help aid in this process. For support in having the forms sent to the hospital, please call 613-599-0100.
In this time, the thoughts of Silver Seven and all Sens fans are with Eugene Melnyk and his family. We hope for a suitable donor, a successful transplant, and a speedy recovery.
Update: Senators President Cyril Leeder confirmed that Melnyk's condition is life threatening, and he will remain in the hospital until a donor can be found.
They are seeking a live donor, as his blood type is the rare AB - making a match to a deceased donor (that requires an exact match for blood type) extremely unlikely in the given time frame. Live donations do not need to have a matching blood type.
Leeder stressed the urgency of the situation. When asked about people sitting around and discussing it for a week or two, his response was right to the point - "too late". The evaluation and preparation process was said to be a matter of days, and preparations a few days more. If they had a suitable donor today, it would be about a week and "we need every minute of that time".
On the management front, for the last four months Cyril Leeder and Bryan Murray have been tasked with the executive management responsibilities that normally rest with Melnyk. Leeder said there is currently no plan on the issue of ownership should Melnyk not find a donor - the focus has been firmly on Melnyk's health.