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Baby gets donated liver from mom's friend

September 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two Riverside women who bonded during pregnancy now share another bond. They're hoping their story will encourage people to step up to the plate when others are in need.

Small, shallow breaths are all 8-month-old Joshua Bauer can muster after recovering from a liver transplant surgery two weeks ago.

"He's getting there. It's day by day. It's really slow, but he'll get there," said Michelle Bauer.

Joshua was born with biliary atresia. His bile ducts were completely blocked. It damaged his liver and his body couldn't rid itself of toxins. His only hope was a liver transplant.

"It has to be done relatively soon and most of the children will not survive past one year of age with this condition," said Dr. Yuri Genyk at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

The odds of getting a liver transplant were slim. Last year in California, 700 liver transplants were performed. Five hundred people died waiting. Joshua's only hope was to get a partial liver from a living donor.

"We were very concerned that he wasn't going to get anything because he was so small," said Michelle Bauer.

She says the answer to her prayers came in the form of her friend, Trinity Hollingsworth, an angel who has been by Joshua's side since birth.

"She said, 'Give me the paperwork, I'll do it,'" said Bauer. "It's a miracle. We joke and laugh about her because she has angel wing tattoos on her back."

The portion of Hollingsworth's liver that's now inside Joshua is working normally with no rejection. Doctors expect Hollingsworth's liver to regenerate itself by Halloween. And while she's still recovering from surgery, she says she'd do it all again.

"I am blessed and very happy that I am considered their angel," said Hollingsworth. "I look at him and he's so much healthier looking. He looks so nice. His color has changed back to normal."

Joshua is the 100th recipient of a living liver transplant donation at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Bauer and Hollingsworth hope Joshua's story will inspire more people to be organ donors.

Hollingsworth has a 9-month-old daughter who she hopes becomes friends with Joshua. Three other people came forward to be tested to be a donor for Joshua, but Hollingsworth was the only match.


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