By Erika Hayes | SC Now
GEORGETOWN, S.C. --
At first glance, the Crib family appears to be healthy and carefree.
But mother of three, Joan Crib, remembers a time when that wasn't the case.
"My first one -- she was fine up until about the age of six months, then she started crying all the time," said Crib. "She was scratching her skin, and by the time she was two they finally figured out what the problem was -- she had a liver disease."
Joan's nightmare didn't end there. Eventually all three of her children were diagnosed with the same genetic disease -- a disorder Joan didn't even know existed until after she started a family.
"It was horrible, I just felt like I was about to go crazy," said Crib. "I mean, everything coming down all at once."
The liver disease causes skin itchiness, bleeding -- and in 12 year old Dalton's case, severe stomach inflammation. Doctors told the Cribs he would need a liver transplant. Dalton was the first of the siblings to receive a successful transplant.
Then came his older sister, now 15 year old Tayler.
"I remember going in there, and then from the time they put me asleep and I woke up, I remember waking up and being in pain," she said.
The liver that saved Tayler's life came from a 15 year old boy who died in a 4-wheeler accident. About three years after her surgery, Tayler was able to meet her donor's family.
"The first thing I said to them was 'thank you,' because they saved my life -- because if it weren't for them, I wouldn't be here right now," said Tayler.
Just one donor has the ability to save up to eight lives. Yet statistically, 18 people die every day while waiting for that life saving gift.
Mark Johnson, with LifePoint, says a new name appears on the organ transplant waiting list every eleven minutes.
"You may think it's not going to happen to you, or one of your friends or family members," said Johnson. "But as you can see, things can happen, and it can happen to several people in one family."
The Crib family is a living miracle -- but there is one more piece to the puzzle. 6 year old Haley, the youngest sibling whose condition is getting worse, and will soon be put on the waiting list.
"I just hate seeing her sit up at night and itch, and she never gets any sleep," said her older sister, Tayler. "She just cries and cries -- and she's ready."
A little girl is ready and waiting for someone to give her the gift of life, the same way it was given to her brother and sister -- a gift that will give the whole family just one more reason to be thankful.
"I mean, they wouldn't be here if it wasn't for people being donors -- they would not," said Joan.
According to Johnson, there are some common misconceptions about becoming a donor. Many people assume if they have a heart with a "Y" on their SC drivers license, they are registered. But Johnson says if the license was issued before December 2008, that heart only indicates intent to donate.
To officially give consent as a registered donor in South Carolina, visit www.every11minutes.org. There, you'll also find helpful information, and answers to frequent misconceptions about organ donation.