Montana woman's "altruistic" organ donation saves Colorado boy

KTVQ | CBS NEWS
Manolo Gonzales, his mother, Samantha Gonzales (center) and organ donor Rebecca LaSalle / CBS NEWS
AURORA, Colo. -- There is joy watching an 18-month-old discover the world. But for Manolo Gonzales, these moments might not have happened.

Shortly after his birth, doctors discovered that Manolo had a life-threatening defect causing his liver to fail. He was lethargic and wouldn't eat solid food.

The only cure was a transplant, and six months ago he got one at Children's Hospital Colorado.

Samantha Gonzales, Manolo's mom, told CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen "the moment he woke up" after the surgery, Manolo did "a complete 180."

"He was ready to eat the same day. He was ready to start crawling," Gonzales said.

What saved Manolo was a decision by 24-year-old Rebecca LaSalle, a complete stranger living 700 miles away in Montana who decided to donate part of her liver to anyone who needed it.

"I merely just wanted somebody else to live," LaSalle said.

"Because?" Petersen asked. Continue reading

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