1-Year-Old New York Baby Survives Both COVID-19 And Liver Transplant
“It’s a complete miracle,” Mitaiyah Donerlson said about her son. “We are so blessed."
January 22, 2021 at 4:53 pm
A one-year-old boy from Syracuse, New York, has been deemed a “miracle baby” after surviving COVID-19 and a liver transplant within two months.
Mitayah Donerlson, the mother of one-year-old Kasen, has been overjoyed with her son's strength and his miraculous recovery right on time for his first birthday.
“It’s a complete miracle,” she told the news outlet. “I am just so very grateful.”
Born in January 2020, Kasen became jaundiced and was underweight. In March, he was diagnosed with biliary atresia. According to the American Liver Foundation, biliary atresia occurs when “the bile ducts become inflamed and blocked soon after birth. This causes bile to remain in the liver, where it starts to destroy liver cells rapidly and cause cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver.”
The condition only affects infants. Kasen underwent surgery to fix the problem but to no avail. His mom learned that he would need a liver transplant to survive. His condition deteriorated as he was placed on a waiting list.
“His whole body felt like it was on fire from head to toe. Being completely honest, I immediately thought of death," she said.
“He was already fighting for his life, and then he gets COVID. My heart just dropped,” the mom of two added.
Because of his positive COVID diagnosis, Kasen’s transplant eligibility was pushed out for a month. His mother worried that her son would miss the opportunity to get a new liver. However, Kasen recovered – allowing him to undergo a nine-hour surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 3.
The surgery was a success, according to the publication. Kasen no longer has jaundice, and it appears that his body approves of his new liver.
“There’s no sign of rejection. Now we just take it one day at a time,” Mitaiyah told Syracuse.com. "Although he remains in the hospital for monitoring, he’s playful and energetic.”
She now rents an apartment in Pittsburgh as Kasen recovers. A GoFundMe to help the family with medical expenses has surpassed its $30,000 goal.
Kasen recently celebrated his first birthday. His proud mom shared on Facebook the adorable photos of the birthday boy eating cake and smiling wide.
Words cant explain your Strength, Courage, and Determination. I am HONORED to be your Mother. Thank you for being my...Posted by Mitayah Donerlson on Thursday, January 14, 2021
Mitaiyah noted in the post, at the time, he was 11 days post-transplant.
"I am HONORED to be your mother. Thank you for being my instructor," she wrote. "You're my instructor to lessons that I could only learn from you."