Illinois Donor Diaries – Chapter 9

Hi folks,

I asked fellow blogger and organ/tissue donation advocate Sarah from Anna’s Place to provide us with an entry for our ninth chapter of the Illinois Donor Diaries. Sarah did a great post last month about our initial conversation and with some insight as to why she felt it was important to contribute with her and Anna’s story. Furthermore, I love that Sarah and Anna rock these shirts around, what a great way to generate conversation about organ/tissue donation!

Sarah really sums it up best…living donation is such a powerful act of human generosity and is amazing when a scenario like Sarah and Anna’s works out. Nonetheless, someone that is not willing or eligible to be a living donor can easily take 30 seconds to register and help donate their heart, lungs, corneas, kidneys and liver amongst other organs and tissue to help provide others with a second chance at life. It’s such a quick, simple act to register and someday may help save up to 25 lives…what an easy way to give back to others.
Be sure to drop Sarah and Anna a line!
-Scott
August 13, 2007

Our beautiful daughter Anna Marie Laschiazza, was born September 14, 2001. We left the hospital with a clean bill of health. Just a few days after we came home we noticed that Anna was jaundiced. After weeks of visits with our pediatrician, blood tests, and Anna’s jaundice getting worse we were referred to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago to see a liver specialist. After our visit Anna was admitted for more tests. After more blood work, an ultrasound of her liver, and a biopsy Anna was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia.

Biliary Atresia is a rare condition in newborn infants in which the common bile duct between the liver and the small intestine is blocked or absent. A surgery called the kasia is usually performed. This procedure connects the small intestine to the liver to help drain bile. The kasai is not a cure, and in most cases the child will need a Liver Transplant in the future.

Anna had her Kasai at 8weeks of age. She did well at first, but then she developed cholangitis, which is an infection in the liver. After weeks of treatment with strong antibiotics through a pic line (this enabled her to come home so that we could administer her medication), we could tell that Anna was still not well. She was soon admitted into the Pediatric ICU. Anna was very sick, she was then put on the transplant list for a liver. Luckily for Anna, I was tested to be her donor right away, and found to be a match. Anna received her liver on March 6, 2002 from her mother.

Unfortunately, living donation is not available in all cases. There is still a great need for organs. So many people don’t understand the importance of organ donation and what a gift it can be. If myself, or any of my family, weren’t able to donate to Anna, I would have hoped that someone would have made the selfless choice to donate their own, or their loved ones organs. Otherwise, Anna would not be here with us today.

There are so many people waiting. Take a moment to register today to help save lives.

SarahChicago, IL
Anna’s Place

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