Yuma mom donates part of her liver to 1-year old daughter
Tucson--They walked in together, it was mom, Vanessa Negrete, one-and-a-half year old Aliyah and big sister Emily.
It's a moment this family had been waiting for, and it came just in time.
"Right now she's really happy. She smiles. You can tell that she's going to be really good," Vanessa Negrete said.
Aliyah was born with Biliary Atresia, a condition that was destroying her liver.
A transplant was all that could save her.
It would be the first adult to child living donor, liver transplant in Arizona.
There was no question. Mom wanted to be the donor.
"I didn't even think a second. I right away wanted to do this for her," Negrete said.
But doctors said there was a problem, Vanessa's liver wouldn't fit.
"The liver that we were anticipating to transplant was too large in size. But then, as she continued to deteriorate, she also grew a little bit and we realized that, after all, the mom would be a good fit," said University of Arizona chief of surgery and lead surgeon, Dr. Rainer Gruessner.
The surgery to remove a portion of Negrete's liver took about six hours. The baby's transplant surgery took much longer, about nine hours. The family is thrilled, especially with their doctors.
"They care about us, and I just think, god bless them a lot for everything you guys are doing," Negrete told the doctors.
The surgeons are equally impressed with the family, especially with Vanessa.
One of the surgeons said it best.
"A mother has given birth once, and given her a second life now."
The family will stay at the Ronald McDonald house in Tucson for about a month until Aliyah no longer needs specialized care.
They said their Yuma doctor will take care of little Aliyah when they come back home.
We will of course follow their progress
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