The emotions that parents-to-be experience upon learning they are expecting are hard to describe with words and vary greatly depending on the individual. For many, the news of a pregnancy brings feelings of joy, excitement, and anticipation.
The couple in this story were also overjoyed to learn that the woman is pregnant with their second child, a baby girl.
And like all parents, Sarah and Chris were happy when their daughter was born into the world without complications.
But shortly after, they realized that something was definitely wrong.
Their daughter, Sloan, was born healthy, but when she was two months old, her parents noticed she was getting plump, especially in the belly area. She ate normally and developed as she should. But as her belly continued to grow, Sarah and Chris became more and more worried and concerned.
Instead of taking Sloan to a regular pediatrician, Sarah and Chris took her to the hospital for a routine four-month-old checkup. They were aware that their daughter’s belly was not growing at a normal rate, but at the same time they hoped that the doctor would tell them news that would comfort them.
Unfortunately, the doctor discovered something sad and announced the news to the couple that no parent wanted to hear. The bad news would have undoubtedly broken the hearts of most parents, but this couple did not intend to give up their daughter without a fight.
Their daughter was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called biliary obstruction, which blocks and damages the bile ducts. Bile builds up in the liver, and if the disease isn’t treated in time, the liver will eventually break down from the stress.
Sloan’s short life faced a huge challenge. Sarah said:
“We thought we were bringing her in for a routine check-up, but instead we received some very difficult news. Everything we feared came true”.
Sloan returned home from the hospital, but had to return shortly after. Just one week after the diagnosis, the family returned to the intensive care unit at the hospital.
The only thing that could save the baby’s life was a liver transplant, and she did not have much time.
Neither Sarah nor Chris were compatible for donors, so they told their story to everyone they knew in hopes of finding a donor.
A close friend of the family, Jake, saw the post the family wrote on social media, and shared it on Facebook.
Then an unexpected hero enters the picture. The foreign man was a perfect fit in more than one way, since he was already used to saving lives.
It was Jake’s brother, Steve, who came to the baby’s aid. Steve is a veteran who has been working as a police officer for 18 years.
He is 40 years old and in good shape. He has not had to go for a doctor’s examination for more than a decade and has never spent a night in the hospital—until now.
After Steve underwent a series of tests, the doctors immediately removed part of his liver. They took about 20% of the organ before returning it to Steve’s body. At this point, Steve has not even met Sloan, whose life he is about to save.
“Fortunately, here, I was in good shape. My wife and I talked about it, and there was no question—if you can help save the life of a 4-month-old baby, that’s something you’re going to do”, Steve said.
Fortunately, both surgeries were successful. The liver is one of the only organs in the human body that can heal itself, so Steve’s liver will heal. And as Sloan grows, her liver will get stronger and stronger.
Although some of her liver was removed, the little girl got much better. Not everyone can say that they carry part of a hero with them wherever they go!
This is one of the most beautiful stories we have heard in a long time. Sloan’s life could have ended after just four months, but thanks to Steve’s unselfish and moving gesture, this story had a happy ending!
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