Baby Esme Rose Campos, 6 months old, was recently diagnosed with Bilary Artesia, a disease of the liver. Her family is searching for a kind soul who would like to be a living liver donor for Baby Esme, who desperately needs it. The process of organ donation is a beautiful and amazing thing; within a couple months of the surgery, the donor’s liver regrows and returns to its normal size, and at the same time, the transplanted liver portion grows and restores normal liver function in the recipient.
“Right now her liver is functioning, but it is getting damaged and is hardening,” said her mom Valerie Ann Garcia of Devine. “If anyone is interested in donating a piece of liver for my daughter and is very serious about it…please let me know. It will speed up the process.”
They got the devastating news that she needed the transplant this past February.
“We always noticed she was a yellowish color and her eyes as well,” Ms. Garcia said. “I would ask pediatricians, and they would say she was fine and it would go away, that it was just jaundice. When she was 5 months old, I took her into urgent care because she was really fussy, had congestion and runny nose…looking to get Covid tested. The doctor there was more concerned about her color and the size of her belly. She rushed us to Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital and started doing blood tests and a sonogram. Her liver was inflamed. She got tested for Covid, and it was negative so we were admitted to a room. We got more sonos done and MRI’s, and they said it looked as if she had a cyst on her bile ducts or like something wasn’t developed properly so surgery was set 2 weeks later. She got another Covid test, and she was then positive.”
The surgery was then delayed due to concerns of surgery being more risky with her breathing with a Covid infection.
“So we went home for 2 weeks and came back for the surgery, which was supposed to be 4 hours long. An hour into the surgery, we get a call from the surgeon who wants to talk about what he found. We know in our gut, it’s not good and we hear it in the surgeon’s voice as he tells us that her bile ducts were never developed. She needs a liver transplant,” Ms. Garcia said.
The Mayo Clinic defines a living-donor liver transplant as “a surgical procedure in which a portion of the liver from a healthy living person is removed and placed into someone whose liver is no longer working properly.”
It also notes that “The number of people waiting for a liver transplant greatly exceeds the number of available deceased-donor livers. People who have a living-donor liver transplant seem to have fewer medical problems after the procedure than those who receive a deceased-donor liver, as well as a longer survival rate of the donated organ.”
Matching of living-donor livers with recipients is based on age, blood type, organ size and other factors. Typically partial liver donors are between the ages of 18-60 years old. Baby Esme’s blood type is A+. The family needs to find a match for this transplant, so if you are willing to be tested, please contact the family at the number below or on Facebook.
Baby Esme is the daughter of Valerie Garcia and Domingo Campos III, and granddaughter of David and Trinidad Garcia and Domingo Jr. and Lupe Campos.
Strong in her faith, Ms. Garcia shared the following message from Joel Olsteen, “We’ve all had things that could steal our joy, cause us to lose our passion, and settle for mediocrity. But God is saying to you, “Manasseh is coming.” There’s something in your future that’s going to erase the pain of the past. God is not going to just bring you out; He’s not going to just vindicate you, restore you, heal you. That would be good, but that wouldn’t make you forget the pain. God is going to do something out of the ordinary, something unusual, something that you didn’t see coming.”
There is a fundraiser set up on Facebook, where you can donate, and you can find the link of Valerie Ann Garcia’s Facebook page. Donations can also be mailed to Mingo Campos, P.O Box 391, Natalia, TX 78059.
Anyone who wants to be tested as a possible donor can text or call mom at 210-910-9130.
By Kayleen Holder