Many of you have joined our adoption journey of precious Hope! Her smile, joy, and love for life have captured the hearts of thousands! Our adoption journey started in January of 2016, and we fell in love with Hope in September of 2017. Friends and family partnered with us to raise the funds needed to get Hope home with a medical expedite from China. Hope has brought our family joy that we didn't know we were missing. From the first day we met our daughter, it was like she had always been with us!
Hope was born with a rare liver disease called Biliary Atresia. The tubes that carry bile from her liver are not present. Most children born with this disease do not live past 3 years of age and are in desperate need of a liver transplant. Hope was left at the doorstep of an orphanage in China at 2 or 3 days old but this would not be the end of her story! We are grateful that her birth mom chose life regardless of the circumstances.
Many people have asked us if we knew she had this disease before we adopted her. The answer is a resounding, "YES"! We chose to love her over our own fear of the unknown. We chose to give Hope a family, a home, and a fighting chance at life. What we didn't know is how much she would give us and teach us about life. She smiles despite her pain and gives her overflowing joy to everyone. Hope has forever changed our family and taught us the meaning of unconditional love.
On March 13, 2018 we put our children to bed as usual. At 1:30am, we received the call of a lifetime! Hope's team at Children's HealthCare of Atlanta had found a match from an organ donor. We were overcome with both joy and grief. We were so happy that Hope would receive this liver and a second chance at life. We cried and thanked God for this family that chose life in the midst of their own loss.
Hope received her new liver on March 15, 2018! Although we prayed for this day, words can not describe our emotions. As they took her back to the operating room, her eyes never left us (mommy and daddy). Over the next week, mommy never left the bedside. At 2 and a half years old, Hope is learning English quickly. While recovering from her transplant, Hope would pass the time by saying all the English words she knows. In the 4 months we have been together, she knows she is loved by us. We are overwhelmed by the love and support by so many, and words can not express our gratitude!
As you can imagine, the cost of an organ transplant is very expensive. The average cost of a liver transplant is between $500,000 and $600,000. We believe our insurance to cover about 80% of our cost. Anti-rejection drugs and other medications costs can easily exceed $10,000 in the first year, and some of these immunosuppressants will be needed throughout her lifetime to sustain Hope's liver.
We are more than grateful that you would consider giving to help cover these costs. Every dollar raised gives and has given life to our precious daughter, Hope! Thank you so much for your love and support and for joining us in Hope's story of life.
See Hope's journey at:
- Tony Swartzlander
- Christina Lambert
- Christina Lambert
- Chuck Whittaker
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