Family of 6-month-old Toronto baby girl pleads for live liver donor to save her life

A family from Bangladesh, now living in Toronto, is encouraging people to consider living organ donations as they wait for their young daughter to get a liver transplant that could save her life.

“She was having jaundice but it’s common for babies… And the doctors was assuring that, ‘Yeah, it’s okay, it’s not a concern,’ but at two months when it was not going away they did some tests and suddenly in the morning told us that she had to go to the hospital,” recalled Preetha Haque.

The family learned baby Aliza has Biliary Atresia, a blockage in the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. In babies with this condition, bile flow from the liver to the gallbladder is blocked and can lead to liver damage and cirrhosis of the liver, if not treated.

“It’s very challenging and difficult because I’m doing PHD and it’s very demanding… now the plan has changed a lot and since my older daughter is going to school we also have to manage that,” said dad Moniruzzaman Moni.

The family moved to Canada in 2017 for Moni’s PhD research and has no support in the country.

“She needs a liver from a living or deceased donor. Aliza’s medical team is encouraging us to find a living liver donor with blood type O+ or O- and in the age group of 18-50 years old to donate at Toronto General Hospital,” notes the family on a Facebook group established to help find the baby a donor.

Neither of the parents is eligible to donate part of their liver to their daughter.

“I went for the testing, and the doctors ensured that yes, I am a healthy person, everything is okay, but the anatomy of the liver is not suitable for the donation… Being a healthy person, I can’t help my daughter,” said Haque.

So the family is now appealing to the public to consider live liver donation to save Aliza’s life.

On the Facebook group, the family explained, “A healthy person can donate a piece of their liver and save Aliza’s life. The liver is incredible and will grow back in six to eight weeks! This surgery is very common and safe. The Toronto General Hospital has completed over 1000 living donor transplants since 2000.”

Until a liver becomes available, Aliza is being cared for at Sick Kids Hospital.

“We are now waiting for a good soul to give that gift of life to her. I know it’s a big deal to give a part of a body to unknown person, but please come forward,” pleaded Haque.

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