Vanessa Negrete should receive the Mom of the Year award for donating a portion of her liver to save her one-year-old daughter’s life.
Negrete’s daughter, Aliyah, was diagnosed with biliary atresia at 2-and-a-half months. It is a rare and incurable liver condition that interferes with the liver’s ability to get rid of bile, resulting in cirrhosis and jaundice. The disease affects on of every 10,000 to 15,000 births.
Without her mom’s donation, Aliyah would not have survived. Rainer W.G. Gruessner, a transplant surgeon at the University of Arizona, said that:
“We had been waiting for a liver from a deceased donor for several months for Aliyah, but none that was appropriate became available. In order to halt Aliyah’s health from deteriorating any further, the decision was made to use a living donor.”
Vanessa Negrete’s wish came true when she was found to be the perfect match. The 26-year-old mom stated that:
“I always prayed to God, I wanted it to be me. It just changes your life.”
The liver transplant took place in March, and surgeons removed almost 25 percent of Vanessa’s liver (the majority of which surgeons expect to regenerate itself). That portion was then transplanted into her daughter Aliyah, a feat performed by a team of five surgeons.
The successful transplant operation is ground breaking for Arizona, and is their first adult-to-child living donor liver transplant. Gruessner stated that:
“The ability to perform living-related liver transplants makes us less dependent on the short supply of deceased donor organs.”
Both Vanessa Negrete and her daughter, Aliyah, are doing well. Negrete told KGUN9-TV that, “Right now, she’s really happy. She smiles. She’s going to be really good.”
Check out another living liver donation story here: