A ‘transplant’ specialty facility. Transplant facilities, are few and require a dedicated zealous staff, given over to that particular purpose. They in many cases, like this one, are the last barrier between life or death.
The costs associated with a transplant are overwhelming. Even more so when the transplant recipient is a very small, less than a year old, child. Who after the transplant operation, will need intensive twenty-four and seven-day care at home, by both her Mom and Dad during the recovery period.
This small wonderful child is perfect in every way but one. When she was 2 months old, Olivia’s mother noticed her skin had a yellow tint and the whites of her eyes were yellow. She was taken to her pediatrician immediately, and through various diagnostics, including a liver biopsy, it was discovered that Olivia suffered from Biliary atresia. It is a rare, progressive disease of the liver that occurs in infants from 2 to 8 weeks of age. It is where one or more bile ducts are abnormally narrow, blocked, or absent. Because the bile in the liver can’t leave, it remains in the organ causing damage, eventually leading to liver failure. In Olivia’s case her bile ducts are absent. There is no rhyme or reason why this disease occurs, and it is rare.
The only true cure for Biliary Atresia is a Liver Transplant. There are surgical interventions to attempt to restore normal liver function but the chances of success are very low. The Kasai Procedure was performed on Olivia at 3 months of age at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola FL. In this procedure, the blocked or missing bile ducts outside the liver are replaced with a length of the baby’s own intestine, which acts as a new duct.
Unfortunately, it was not successful in restoring normal liver functions for Olivia.
Now there is but one chance left to save this beautiful little girl’s life. That option; a liver transplant. The sad side is this is a race against time. A suitable donor organ must be found quickly, before damage to the liver from the backed-up bile becomes deadly. The family needs to be very mobile and ready to pick up and go to the transplant center on a moment’s notice. She is on the transplant list.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Olivia’s case doctor, and his staff have waved all fees and will perform the surgery for no charge. Olivia’s case worker will place them on a referral to the Ronald MacDonald house nearby when she has her transplant.
The out of the pocket expenses is what needs to be addressed. First, all travel expenses must be paid by her parents. This includes gas, food and lodging. Her parents both work. Neither can afford an extended period of time out of work. This, however is what is demanded by the after-surgery protocols. Since identifying this disease and confirming the diagnosis, her parents have spent their entire life savings. Family has helped as it could.
I’m asking for monetary help to see Olivia and her parents through the surgery and the following three months afterwards. She is a wonderful child and her hard working parents are doing all they can for her. They just don’t quite know how to ask for help, a know how to ask for help, and that is not a fault.
The goal is to raise $8000 dollars. This monetary cushion will help to ease the financial drain for Olivia’s parents before, during, and after the Olivia’s transplant surgery and allow them to focus on their beautiful baby during her recovery. All monies donated will go directly to Olivia parents.
Either way to donate or not, I ask that you please say a prayer for this small wonderful child Olivia.
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