Transplanting hope: Wisconsin baby saved by last-minute liver donation

WIAT | Audrey Hay

Last month, 10-month-old Paityn Walters of Peshtigo began to act tired, was throwing up and would cry while she was awake. Her mom, Tara Ellison, said it was out of character and troubling. “She was [normally] just very energetic. Never stood still. Always getting into everything she could,” she said.

Doctors diagnosed baby Paityn with the flu. Still, she wasn’t getting better. She went to the emergency room in Marinette, ended up in a Green Bay Hospital and from there was quickly flown to The Wisconsin Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. Paityn had contracted a virus that quickly shut down her liver. Doctors gave her mere days to live without a transplant.

“By the time we got [to Milwaukee] it was already too late,” said Paityn’s father Eric Walters. “It was pretty much dead, the liver.”

“The risk of dying was 100 percent because once the liver has totally failed, the other organs will follow,” said Johnny Hong, MD, a transplant surgeon at both Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Continue reading


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