Haley-Liver Recipient

My life began with unforeseen circumstances. Shortly after birth, I was diagnosed with biliary atresia, which causes cirrhosis of the liver. I had my first surgery at 6 weeks old, which only proved successful for a short time before ultimately failing. My family was told I would need a liver transplant. By the time I was 7 months old, I was in end stage liver failure. My whole family packed up and went to Nebraska for the operation, where my mother was prepared to be my living donor. The night before our scheduled surgery, we received a call that there was a donor that was a perfect match. I was whisked away to surgery and a few hours later, I had a new liver. My grandmother recalls instantly seeing the color change in me, from a sickly jaundice yellow to a healthy pink. While I was too young to remember the surgery, I have lived with a constant reminder of the selfless gift of life I was given through stories from my family and strangers that I never knew were praying for me, along with the beautiful “battle scar” across my abdomen. I may not remember the ordeal, but I have made it my life’s mission to spread the good news about organ donation. I love sharing my story with others and answering the many questions that usually follow. I am celebrating 23 years post-transplant in April 2022. Words can never fully encompass my gratitude for the donor’s family that allowed the passing of their loved one’s life to serve as the beginning of mine.