Ryan Cole is a beautiful baby. You would never know from looking at him that he was struggling for life fighting a rare disease called biliary atresia, reported Courier Mail. Biliary atresia disrupts the bile ducts, disrupting flow of liquid to reach the liver for proper function. This results in a failing liver– baby Ryan won’t live to see his teenage years living with the liver he currently has. To learn more about this disease, click here.
Ryan was diagnosed with the disease at only eight weeks old. His parents were in complete shock as it is very rare to hear of children, let alone babies, with any type of liver dysfunction– although biliary atresia is an exception, targeting young children. Quickly after diagnosis, Ryan underwent surgery to help fix his disease. However, the surgery was unsuccessful, and now they are left with no choice other than to wait.
Waiting for a liver transplant is difficult, especially in Queensland where they reside. Out of 503 organ donors, 1447 Australian families were blessed with life, yet those numbers are much less in comparison to other countries. Out of those that agreed to be donors, only 2% of those individuals have healthy, transplant worthy organs post death. Not to mention, getting a donor that is a perfect match is difficult in the first place.
Just a few days ago the Cole family got a call from the hospital with a potential donor. They were both excited and saddened by the news — their baby Ryan could be saved, yet that means someone else’s life had ended. On their way to the hospital, they received another call with the disappointing news that it surely wasn’t a genuine match. Back to the waiting game.
While the waiting game is hard, they have no choice but to endure and stay positive. Ryan is a happy baby and they will give him a great life and hopefully one day, he will receive the liver he needs to live a long, full life.