Hearing that your son will need a life-saving liver transplant is not something you expect to experience as a parent. That, however, is what my husband and I were told after our 2-month-old was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia. We were told that he hopefully wouldn’t need a transplant for a few years, but that he would eventually need one. Needless to say, his condition deteriorated quickly and it soon became apparent that the transplant would need to happen sooner rather than later.
At 7.5 months old, he was placed on the transplant list. I struggled a lot with the thought of another family losing a loved one so that my son could live. It was devastating to think about, but I started to focus on the miracle that one person’s “yes” could mean to so many others — in someone’s darkest hour they could change lives.
When our son was 10 months old, he was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Primary Children’s Hospital and was very sick. We were told he may only have a couple more weeks to live. It was heartbreaking to see him so ill and we tried to wrap our minds around the fact that we could lose him.
In June 2015, we were told that there was a liver for our son! After a day of tests and lots of waiting, our son went into the operating room that evening. Several hours later, we were able to see him and instead of seeing my very yellow son from the jaundice, I saw a beautiful boy with PINK skin. In just a few hours his skin was already changing colors. We took him home several weeks later and he is thriving!
We will celebrate his two year “liversary” in June. I can’t believe it. I think often of our donor family and pray for them. I know it couldn’t have been easy to say “yes” to organ donation but it changed our lives. We have a feisty, sweet, funny 2-and-a-half-year-old because of them. Because of them, I get to see my son grow up and I get to hear him say “Mimi so rude to me” and “love you mama” and “Daddy, you yellow fish. Beckett shark.” I am so grateful, so very grateful for that “yes.”