The 1-year-old was a candidate for a liver transplant, but her parents knew it could take several months or longer to get one from a deceased donor. Though her liver was failing, she wasn’t one of the sickest patients.
So in 2009 her mother decided to give a portion of her own liver to save her daughter.
“She had a big belly and really skinny arms and legs. She wasn’t getting nutrition,” said 32-year-old Erica Lai, of Spanish Fork. “I didn’t want to watch her get sicker than she already was.”
That option — a living-donor liver transplant — hasn’t been an option for adults in Utah since 2008.