Many children wait months — and sometimes years — for a transplant, but thanks to the generosity of living donors, some kids don’t have to wait. Read about the lives and futures of four children saved by living donation.
Helping Sloan live up to her name
Without Lt. Steve Tenney, 7-month-old Sloan wouldn’t be nursing, beginning to roll over on her own or meeting other milestones. “I did what anyone would have done,” says Tenney, who donated a piece of his liver when Sloan was only 5 months old.
“Sloan means ‘warrior,’” her mom, Sarah says. “We didn’t think she’d need to be a warrior at such a young age — but she showed us she is.” Read more about Sloan’s liver transplant.
A police officer’s job is all about action and reaction.
“We see something, react to it and, typically, it’s over quickly,” says Lt. Steve Tenney of the Keene, New Hampshire, Police Department.
But on the morning of Sept. 8, while Steve lay in a hospital bed at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, action/reaction wasn’t part of the equation. This time, there was time to think. Even so, the decision to donate a piece of his liver to save Sloan — a baby he’d never even met — was made without hesitation.
Everywhere Melissa Villaseñor goes her little sister, Isabella, follows.
The 6- and 2-year-old share just about everything. They share big personalities. They share a love of being lively and loud. And, they also share something else — they were both born with biliary atresia.
“I am not going to lie,” says Andrea Torre, the girls’ mom. “I sometimes break down and cry and ask myself, ‘Why me?’”
Biliary atresia is a chronic, progressive liver condition that is fatal if left untreated. For most parents, having just one child with this rare, life-threatening disease is overwhelming.
“My husband keeps me grounded,” she says. “He reminds me, ‘See how much they fight for their health? We have to fight twice as hard.’” …
There are more than 80 children currently waiting for life-saving organ transplants at Boston Children’s Hospital. The Pediatric Transplant Center team is grateful for the donors who give these kids a second chance.