3 moms become 'scar sisters' after being living organ donors for daughters

TODAY | Meghan Holohan

When Analy Navarro discovered her daughter needed a liver transplant, she felt overwhelmed. Then she met a friend who helped her through the experience.

Analy Navarro's daughter Julia is thriving because Analy donated part of her liver to her daughter.Courtesy Analy Navarro
Like many babies, Julia Navarro’s skin looked yellow after birth. Her parents weren't worried and assumed it was normal infant jaundice. But as time went on, Julia’s behavior became concerning. She seemed listless and wasn’t reaching milestones.

Uneasy, her parents took her to the doctor where Julia underwent numerous tests. That's when the Navarros learned some upsetting news: Julia had biliary atresia, a rare liver condition that occurs in infants. The bile ducts inside and outside of the liver are scarred and blocked; the bile cannot drain into the intestine and builds up, leading to liver damage. Experts don't know what causes it.

Julia wasn’t a candidate for the Kasai procedure, which is used to treat it. This meant their then 4-month-old daughter needed a liver transplant.

“You get a little scared, like, ‘How am I going to get through this?’” Analy Navarro, 33, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, told TODAY.

She got through it with a little help from a friend. Navarro was struggling to understand organ donation, so she joined a Facebook group for parents whose kids had biliary atresia. That is where she virtually "met" fellow mom Margaret Rollins, who provided something that few others could offer: Rollins’ daughter Adeline also had biliary atresia and Rollins donated part of her liver to Adeline. Doctors had suggested that Navarro consider donating part of her liver to help Julia. Continue reading