3-Month-Olds Belly Starts Growing Bigger & Bigger, Doctor Takes 1 Look & Utters Terrible Truth
Marilyn Caylor 1/12/2018
Sarah and Chris St. James were ecstatic when they discovered they were having a baby girl. Like all new parents, they were happy that she made her entrance into this world without any major complications, but it wasn't until after they took her home that they realized something was wrong.
Sloan was born happy and healthy, but when she was 2 months old, her parents noticed that she was looking a bit jaundiced, and was getting a little chubby around the middle. Sloan was eating normally and had hit all of her developmental milestones, but when her "Buddha belly" continued to get bigger and bigger, Sarah and Chris became increasingly worried.
Instead of taking Sloan to see her regular pediatrician, Sarah and Christ took her to the hospital for her four-month checkup. Sadly, the doctor didn't tell the couple what they wanted to hear. Most parents would just swallow the bad news and find a way to cope, but this couple wasn't about to give up without a fight. How the police got involved is the craziest part...
When the couple first took Sloan to Boston Children's Hospital, they were really hoping to hear that their baby's growing belly was normal. Instead, doctors diagnosed her with a rare liver disease known as biliary atresia, which blocks or causes damage to the bile ducts. Her short life was now hanging by a thread. Sarah told Sentinel Source:
"Here we are thinking we're bringing her in for peace of mind, and instead it was devastating. Your mind blocks out that it could be this, this and this. Instead, it was this, this and this - everything we dreaded came true."
Sloan was able to go home, but she was quickly rushed back to the hospital only a week later. The only thing that could save this poor baby's life was a liver transplant, and it needed to happen sooner rather than later. Neither Sarah nor Chris were a match for their daughter's blood type O, so they reached out to everyone they knew and hoped that one of them would be willing to become a donor.
Facebook/Sarah St James
Some people may not realize that living donor protocols can sometimes be pretty strict. The donor can be a family member or acquaintance, and must be will-free. The donor also has to undergo a psychological assessment, and of course they have to be a physical match.
Close friend Jake Tenney shared the family's plea for help on social media, and that's when a virtual stranger stepped forward. However, he was a perfect fit in more ways than one, since he's quite used to saving lives.
Jake's brother, Lt. Steve Tenney, is a U.S. Army veteran, and has served with the Keene Police Department in New Hampshire for 18 years. At 40 years old, he was in good shape, hasn't needed to see the doctor in over a decade, and has never stayed overnight in the hospital - until now.
After Steve passed a battery of tests, doctors promptly removed his liver, sliced off about 20 percent of it, and then put it back inside him. At this point, Steve hadn't even met the little baby whose life he was about to save.
"Fortunately, here, I was in a good position. My wife and I talked and it was really a no-brainer - if you can help a 4-month-old and potentially save her life, it's something you're going to do."
Thankfully, both surgeries were a success. The liver is one of the only organs that can regenerate itself, so Steve's liver will replenish itself in time. As Sloan grows up, her new liver will grow right along with her.
Although a part of her was taken away, this lucky girl received something much better in its place. It's not every day that a person can say that their hero is with them at all times.
Facebook/Sarah St James