Baby born without gallbladder gets liver donation that saves its life
When a couple is expecting a baby it can often be a worrying time. All that parents hope for, at the end of the day, is that their children aren't born with any health problems. But for Amanda and Justin, parents of Braylee Frankford from Illinois, their worst fears were realized when their baby girl was born without a gallbladder.
At first, she was diagnosed with jaundice, but the baby's condition continued to deteriorate; her body became bloated with fluids; her skin became increasingly discolored. It was at this point that she was rushed into hospital.
Without a gallbladder, the build up of bile was contaminating her little body, so much so that the doctors had to connect her intestine directly to her liver so that the bile could drain.
Her stomach grew to be the size of a balloon and she was getting more and more sick by the minute. One thing was certain — baby Braylee would not be able to leave the hospital without having a liver transplant. And she needed one soon, if she was going to survive.
And even though Braylee was on the top of the list to get a transplant due to the severity of her case, it didn't seem likely that she would get one in time. So her dad volunteered to donate part of his liver to his daughter. It was risky to undergo such an invasive procedure but he was prepared to do anything to help save his daughter's life.
And just when Justin was getting ready to go into surgery, the family received an urgent phone call: they had a donor! A man who had passed away had been generous enough to leave his organs behind for children who, like Braylee, needed them desperately. And because the liver was from an adult, it was split among two children.
The procedure was a success. The transplanted liver was positively accepted by Braylee's body, and her skin colour almost immediately returned to normal. All of a sudden, she was like a whole new baby.
It's been a year since the baby received the liver. Now, at 19 months of age, Braylee is in good health. It's thanks to the generous donors out there, that children such as Braylee get to continue living their lives. We wish her all the best for her future and hope she has a long and happy life.