Amy

Amy is our miracle girl! I was told years ago that I would not be able to fall pregnant and that even with the help of IVF the chances were slim. We tried IVF and had success on our first attempt, with twin girls, born at 30 weeks. So to find out a couple of years later that I was pregnant naturally was a big surprise.

Amy was born at 31 weeks in March 2004 and was sent to Westmead Hospital as there were no beds in our local area. While there, she underwent the usual new born blood tests, which showed that her GGT was well above the normal range, an indicator of liver disease.

Initially, it was assumed that the high level was a result of her premature birth. One of the nurses in the NNIC unit was not happy with this and kept pushing for more investigation. From these tests it appeared that she had a cyst between her gall bladder and the liver and further investigations gave the doctors reason to believe that she had Biliary Atresia.

We were in shock and could not believe what was happening to our little miracle girl.

I was living at the hospital with Amy and was alone when the doctors told me what was going on. I was understandably devastated and in tears.

Amy went into surgery for a full investigation of her liver, the surgeon advised us that she may need to have a Kasai Procedure if she did in fact, have Biliary Atresia. They found that yes, she did have a cyst, she didn’t have a gall bladder and they did do the Kasai.
 
We waited to see what the outcome would be and were advised that she would need a liver transplant if the Kasai didn’t work, which it didn’t. 
 
In August 2004 Amy was listed for a liver transplant as she was deteriorating quickly. Life was passing in a kind of blur and she was in hospital more than home. This was very hard on me and the rest of the family.
 
In November 2004, at 8 months of age she received her liver transplant.
 
Amy was in hospital and we were all at home when the phone rang at 6.30am. I was told that they had a donor and we needed to get to the hospital ASAP as they need us to sign the consent papers. I was trying to stay calm but couldn’t, I was in tears. We arrived at the hospital with minutes to spare before the surgery was due to start so only had a couple of minutes with her before they took her to the operating room.
 
After the longest 9 hours of our lives we got the call to say she was out and we could come and see her. She had been very yellow when she went into surgery but a beautiful pink when we next saw her. I couldn’t believe it. Everything had gone well, my tears were back, Amy looked different but she was definitely our little girl. 

Amy improved very quickly and was home in time for her first Christmas.

We came so close to losing her, the doctors told me that they think Amy would have only survived another 2 weeks if she had not had her transplant when she did.

I was so shocked to hear that, you never really think that that could happen and we are so very grateful to the donor family for their generosity in donating their babies’ organs.

Amy has not looked back and is now a very healthy 9 year old. People say that I am over protective of her but I don’t want to take any chances as she has been given a second chance at life!

As a parent, you never get over an experience like ours and while I’m telling Amy’s story, the tears are flowing again. We are so lucky to have our miracle girl!