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Sarah Hernandez

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Eden, 9 months old, celebrating Donate Life Month and 3 months of life after receiving a liver transplant by a living donor in January, 2024.

My Story

Eden was born full term on July 7th, 2024 and appeared to be a healthy, typical baby, other than being jaundiced, which her parents were told would go away on it’s own. But around 2 months old, her mom noticed that she was not gaining weight and was still very jaundiced. After meeting with the pediatrician and getting lab work done, Eden was sent to St. Louis Children’s Hospital to have further testing. It was there that they learned that Eden had a rare liver disease called biliary atresia. Biliary atresia (BA) has no known cause, and although there is a surgery that can delay the need for transplant, the majority of BA patients will need a liver transplant eventually.

Eden’s need came sooner than hoped for. By December, 2023, Eden was 5 months old and being listed for transplant. Her health began to decline quickly and her parents grew concerned that the perfect match might come too late. That’s when they created a flyer for social media, searching for a living donor, and a relative from New Jersey saw.

Nadia, who has 3 young children of her own, felt compelled to complete the preliminary donor candidate interview, and was soon being asked to fly out to St. Louis get tested to see if she would be a match for Eden. Within only a couple weeks, the families were told that Nadia was a perfect match and the transplant was set for January 18th, 2024!

At 6 months old, Eden became the first child to receive a living liver donation in over 10 years at SLCH, and she is now doing amazing at 3 months post-transplant. She is meeting all of her milestones, loves food, and is living a happy, healthy life.

We can never thank Nadia enough for sacrificing a month away from family, work, and home, as well as undergoing a major surgery, to give our baby girl the chance to live and thrive. Every day that we have with her is a gift, and we never take that for granted.