SJM Pediatric Transplant Foundation

Sarah's Story:


In June 2007 our daughter Sarah underwent a life saving liver transplant. She was born with Biliary Atresia and after 13 years her liver had deteriorated significantly. Her declining liver left her tired, jaundice and with many medical problems. Sarah's only option was a liver transplant. She was officially listed on May 15, 2007 at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center in Miami, Florida. We were very fortunate to receive the call only one month later. We boarded a commercial flight that morning from NJ and flew to Miami. The donor was a perfect match for Sarah. Her surgery lasted 6 hours and as they wheeled her back from the operating room, we could see that the jaundice in her skin was already improving. The surgeon said the surgery was a success. He gave us the opportunity to see Sarah's old liver. It was very cirrhotic. The new liver, in contrast, was perfect and healthy. We spent two months in Miami recovering. Sarah remained home for 6 months post transplant. She was tutored at home and had time to regain her energy. She returned to school in January 2008.

Update: Sarah got married in 2019 and graduated in June 2020 from college and will be teaching elementary school at a Charter School in NJ.

Life is good for Sarah and we are eternally grateful to the donor family, who at a very difficult time made the decision to donate their child's organs so that other children could have a chance at life. We are also thankful for the wonderful Pediatric Transplant Team at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center for the wonderful work they do.

How Transplants Affect Families