Center for Organ Recovery and Education honors selfless acts and second chances

THE PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE | Chris Togneri

It wasn't a terrible fall, but when 3-year-old Rosalina Vargas fell at a playground last weekend, her parents took her to the emergency room.

Under normal circumstances, Sarah and Tony Vargas would have simply brushed the dirt off their daughter's knees and allowed her to continue playing.

But little Rosie's life is not normal. Not yet.

"Her stomach muscles are still open from her first surgery — because she's going to be re-transplanted, they never closed it back up," said Sarah Vargas, 39, of Cranberry. "We were worried because her organs aren't protected, and because her liver is failing she also has clotting issues. We took her just to be safe."

Rosie did not complain.

In fact, when she entered the hospital and realized where she was — again — she promptly held out her arm and waited for the needles.

Which broke Sarah Vargas's heart.

"My 3-year-old is so battle worn from all these medical procedures that she just knows, 'Oh, I'm at the doctor's. Here, poke me,' " she said. "That's her normal. As a parent, you don't want that for your child." Continue reading
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