Infant Receives Liver Transplant in a Real Christmas Miracle

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Baby boy Daniel McCabe, born with a degenerative liver illness, was dying. With every passing minute the life was escaping the little fighter and when doctors came to his parents the news they expected was every parent's worst nightmare.

The five-month-old baby, born with biliary atresia, a rare liver disease, was home when his condition deteriorated and his parents, Melody and Joseph McCabe, rushed him to Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital when they received the grave news.

Doctors had only one option left and placed little Daniel on the national registry for organ transplants, the last hope for those who are faced with death without the organ replacement.

The waits for viable organs can be years. The average wait for a heart can take more than three months and kidneys can take up to four years. Complications often arise including the body's rejection of the organ and the need for an exact tissue match can slow the process. 

So, ten days ago, when the McCabes received word the Doctors placed their miracle boy on the national registry they knew the chances of finding a viable liver were slim and their Daniel may not survive the wait.

Forty minutes later, after monitoring Daniel's deteriorating condition, doctors came to parents with news they did not expect: They matched a liver and baby boy Daniel would be the recipient. The liver was on its way.

The surgery to replace Daniel's tiny liver with a piece of the adult male liver lasted six hours. The donor of the adult liver remains unknown and his living decision to donate his organs made it possible to save two lives from his liver donation: Baby Daniel received 20% of the adult liver and an unknown adult received the remainder.

According to Dr. Riccardo Superina, Lurie Children's Hospital pediatric liver specialist, said, "While this happened very quickly and very fortunately, there are people who die every day because there's not an organ available."

From all reports baby boy Daniel body's has accepted the liver without any signs of rejection, infection or fever. He should be home in a month.

Today, the McCabe Family due to the generosity of an unknown organ donor, and the extended family of Lurie Children's Hospital are celebrating a genuine Christmas Miracle. 

Image courtesy of Google search.


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