Father matched as liver donor for young son

Baby Emmett is set to get a new liver next week. Emmett Smith, now nearly six months old, was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer about four months ago. 

Baby Emmett is set to get a new liver next week.

Emmett Smith, now nearly six months old, was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer about four months ago.

His father, Michael Smith from Carcross, has been matched as a donor.

Emmett’s parents got the news on Monday afternoon.

“We were freaking out and all happy, and Emmett was just sitting there with this strange look, like ‘What’s going on?’” said mom Charlotte Francis, on the phone from Edmonton.

The surgery is scheduled for this coming Monday.

It will last six hours for Michael, and eight hours for Emmett, said Francis.

Michael will have his gall bladder and a piece of his liver removed, and Emmett will have his entire liver removed and replaced with his father’s tissue.

Michael’s liver is expected to regrow.

Francis was also tested as a potential donor, but the size of her organ and placement of her blood vessels turned out not to be a good match, she said.

The family is very pleased that Michael has been selected as a donor, said Francis.

They are hopeful for a positive outcome for both father and son.

“There’s risks with everything, though right? Walking past the street is a risk. But I’m trying not to look at all that stuff and just staying positive. Same with Mike, because otherwise we’ll just be freaking out even more.”

If all goes well, Emmett could be back in the Yukon in three months, she said.

Donations to support the family of six can be made at www.gofundme.com/jwf13o.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at


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