On January 21, 2008 the Young family was blessed with a baby girl, Lella. Little did they know what a wild ride Lella would take them on in her first year.
At two months old, baby Lella was diagnosed with Biliary Artresia, a rare condition that closes the tube that drains the bile from the liver into the intestine. Lella underwent a five-hour surgery that unfortunately did not fix the problem. Doctors said that Lella’s version of the condition was particularly rare. Many more complications followed including nutritional instability and a liver that was still not draining properly. Thus, Lella was put on the transplant waiting list when she was just six months old.
In August of 2008, 46 days after Lella was listed, the Youngs received the call that they had been waiting for. A liver was available, it was being flown in from another state and Lella was first in line to receive it.
Lella underwent a 10-hour transplant surgery, as well as two additional surgeries to repair unexpected bleeding. But then, Lella was on the road to recovery! Initially she required 16 medications following her transplant. But now, six years later, she is only taking one.
She is now the picture of health; an exceptionally happy and active child. She plays t-ball, swims competitively and loves reading. Her mother Lyndall jokes “you wouldn’t even know that Lella had had a transplant unless you saw her in a bikini!”
Lella’s transplant came from a young girl in Iowa, whose brave family said ‘yes’ to donation amidst their enormous grief following her death. The Young family has since met the donor family.
“Lella would not have lived without our donor family’s lifesaving gift. They are an amazing family that we now feel blessed to be part of,” Lyndall said.