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Michelle, a Riverside, California native, stands near her baby boy Joshua at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, thankful that he is alive and improving in health, thanks to Yuri Genyk MD, the surgeon who performed the procedure and her friend, Trinity.
Last month, Trinity donated a portion of her adult liver to Joshua, a procedure that undoubtedly saved the infant’s life. Although he is now almost eight months old, he is small for his age because of the challenging time he has had to endure within the first few months of his life.
Joshua, who was born with jaundice, needed a life-saving liver transplant soon after he was born. With type O positive blood, he needed a suitable donor to save his life. As we celebrate the one-hundredth living donor transplant surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, we remain committed to transplant research and raising awareness to help save more children like Joshua.
Michelle and Trinity have been friends for some time. When both women got pregnant around the same time, Michelle with a boy and Trinity with a girl, it brought their friendship closer than ever. So, when Trinity found out about Joshua’s health crisis, she did not hesitate to undergo tests to see if she could be a match for the boy. It turned out that she was a perfect donor match for Joshua. Her act of compassion has since left Michelle and her family feeling as if they will never be able to properly thank her for her sacrifice. With a symbolic name and with tattooed angel wings on her back, Michelle believes that Trinity is Joshua’s real-life guardian angel, sent to save her son’s life.
Reassured by physicians, Michelle is certain that her son will catch up and lead a normal life. Almost immediately after the surgery, Michelle eagerly observed how much better her son looked, most noticeably in the color of his skin. He no longer looked yellow (from the jaundice), but instead he looked like a healthy pink baby. With the transplanted liver, Joshua now has a renewed chance of life. With the exception of avoiding contact sports and taking medication to support his transplanted organ, he can look forward to a normal childhood and beyond, something that seemed impossible not long before.
The story of Joshua is extraordinary not only because his liver transplant at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles saved his life, but because his transplant surgery marked the one-hundredth living donor transplant surgery for the hospital. After experiencing her son’s near life-or-death state, Michelle is grateful to the generosity of Trinity and the Children’s Hospital physicians, and committed to raising awareness about donor transplant surgery.
Congratulations baby Joshua and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as this is the one-hundredth living donor transplant.