Change live donor policy before it's too late
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Over the summer, I saw a story on the news about a beautiful little girl named Gabby, who was in desperate need of a liver due to a rare disorder called biliary . I went online to learn more and found a link where anyone could apply. I actually knew her mother from my teenage years but would have applied regardless.
I started the evaluation process in September-
During this process I have over 60 vials of blood drawn, an MRI, a CT, a liver biopsy, 2 chest x-rays, 2 EKGs, two psychiatric evaluations and multiple other health evaluations and appointments.
I was officially cleared as a donor and surgery was scheduled for January 3rd.
During this process, the story was picked up by a local news station. A young woman saw the story and ended up e-mailing me telling me that her beautiful niece, Rebecca, also has Biliary Atresia and ask that I reach out to her niece’s mom to let her know what I’m doing and possibly give her hope of someone doing the same for her daughter. I reached out to her mom, who it turned out, only lives about two miles down the road and we became very close.
Gabby was # 1 on the deceased donor list and I decided that if Gabby gets a deceased donor, I absolutely want to donate to Rebecca who also has the same blood type as I do.
I was asked during the donation process, if something happens in surgery and they cannot transplant the portion of my liver into Gabby, would I be okay with them donating it to someone else. There was absolutely no question in my mind- Of course I would. A life is a life and one innocent child deserves to live as much as the next.
Four nights before the surgery, Gabby ended up getting a deceased liver and had a very successful transplant. This was such amazing news because now not only would Gabby get a chance at life, but Rebecca would too. I received a call the next day from the transplant coordinator at Lahey who let me know that surgery would be cancelled as Gabby now had her liver. I told her that I wanted to move forward with Rebecca, as I had discussed before when it appeared Gabby was going to get a deceased liver about a month prior, but that didn’t end up working out so I stayed as her donor.
She kindly told me she would speak to Children’s on Monday.
I e-mailed her about a week later to follow up. A week after that I received a call back stating that because I do not have a close enough relationship with Rebecca, they’re not going to go forward with the surgery.
This wasn’t me calling out of left-field. I had already gone through the endless process of becoming a live donor. Every poke and prod, every day taken off from work, every hour long drive to Lahey, every evaluation. I am as close to this family as I am to the family that they cleared me to donate to before. This sweet girl is not even two years old and needs a transplant to survive. Even if someone comes forward with a closer relationship, they will have to start the process from day one while Rebecca’s health declines in the mean-time.
I am asking that Lahey reconsiders their decision and preforms the surgery as planned. The risk will be the same, the recovery will be the same, the only difference will be the sweet little girl who receives this gift of life and she is just as deserving of it as any innocent child.
Please sign this petition in hopes that we can change their minds about not only this transplant, but future transplants as well.
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