Family Can Go Home For The Holidays as Infant With Biliary Atresia Survives

It was a Christmas miracle for the Garcia family as their infant quickly recovered and was discharged from the hospital to enjoy the holiday at home, reported DailyMail. 1-year-old baby Leia Garcia was birthed with biliary atresia, an intense liver disease that leads to liver failure if untreated. Leia and her parents had been residing in the hospital for the last three months, but with a huge shock, Leia recovered.

Leia has faced death already three times in her one year of life. From the disease, her liver kept failing, but luckily doctors were able to successfully revive her on multiple occasions. Yet, after her liver transplant last month one of her arteries was closed and no blood could reach her liver. They conducted three surgeries to open up the artery and all of them failed. Yet, miraculously, the artery started functioning properly all on it’s own. Leia began to heal quickly and shockingly to all, she was released in time for the holidays.
Biliary atresia is a disease to the bile ducts that only affects babies. The liver creates bile, a digestive liquid, travels it to the small intestine and uses it for breaking down and digesting fats. Biliary atresia swells the ducts, not allowing the liquid to flow properly and this then leads to the liver failing. The disease is seen to be in 1 of 18,000 babies and is often diagnosed quickly after birth. Leia was diagnosed within two weeks as she showed severe liver swelling after the consumption of milk.

After Leia’s diagnosis and initial procedure to prevent further liver damage, the family was told a liver transplant was needed, but couldn’t happen until she weighed about 20 pounds. Home she went, and she continued to progress like a normal child. Yet, at about 10 months she began throwing up blood and her parents knew something was very wrong. Back to the hospital she went. She needed to be on a breathing tube and even though she only weighted about 12 pounds at the time, the doctors decided to move forward with the transplant, a decision that would contribute to saving her life.

Leia can now recover and continue to grow up with her disease contained. Her family set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the extremely steep expenses they will be facing for Leia’s 12 medications. Many are not covered and will have to come out of their own pocket.

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