Micaela Prunty was born a normal, healthy, beautiful baby girl. But at three months of age, her mother, Isa Rodriguez, noticed something was “just not right.” Micaela’s tummy was distended, and her skin color was changing, Isa said.
Micaela was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare liver disease where the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder is blocked. It affects only one in 10,000 live births. By the time Micaela was five months old, doctors determined that her liver would not function properly and she would need a liver transplant. She was placed on the transplant waiting list.
Shortly after Micaela went on the list, her health began to fail, and her mother asked to be tested as a potential living donor. “By God’s grace, I was a perfect match,” Isa said. “I was able to donate a portion of my liver to Micaela.”
On May 31, 2001, at eight months of age, Micaela received her liver transplant. “She did really well in her recovery,” her mother recalled, “and on June 15, only 15 days post-transplant, Micaela came come.” Isa said Micaela had to deal with a few bouts of rejection, but she overcame every obstacle.
Today, Micaela is 12 years old and in sixth grade. She likes to play the piano and read books. “She’s doing all the normal things that 12-year-old pre-teens do,” Isa said. “Someday she wants to work for NASA and, knowing how strong she is, I believe her hopes and dreams will all continue to come true.”