Mother donates half of her LIVER to save her baby daughter's life after she is diagnosed with rare condition
Imogen Daly was diagnosed with a rare, life threatening liver condition called biliary atresia when she was just nine weeks oldLittle girl was on transplant list for five months but began deteriorating
Family friend told her mother Charlotte Rogers about living liver transplantsSurgeons took left side of Ms Rogers' liver and transplanted it into ImogenBoth mother and daughter's liver's will re-grow to a full size
19:16 GMT, 4 December 2012
Like any parent, Charlotte Rogers would do anything for her baby daughter. So when she was given the option of saving her life, she certainly didn't think twice.
Ms Rogers from Betley, Staffordshire, gave part of her own liver to 13-month-old Imogen who was awaiting a transplant.
Little Imogen was diagnosed with biliary atresia when she was just nine weeks old.
The rare condition meant that Imogen was
born without any bile ducts, making it impossible for her to break down
fats in her diet, causing a severe strain on her liver.
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Charlotte Rogers donated half of her own liver to save the life of her baby daughter Imogen
In a worst case scenario, the bile could have built up in little Imogen's liver and poisoned her to death.
Imogen had been on the transplant list for five months but it soon become clear that urgent action was needed to save her life.
And after a friend mentioned to Ms
Rogers, 34, and partner Sebastian Daly, the possibility of donation from
a living donor, the couple never looked back.
Imogen (with parents Charlotte and Sebastian) was born without any bile ducts, making it impossible for her to break down fats in her diet, causing a severe strain on her liver
Ms Rogers said: 'When I found out that it was possible to take a liver from a living person it was a no brainer, I knew I was going to give mine to Imogen.
'I'd cut my arm off for my little girl if I someone needed me to, so I really didn't think twice about it.'
Imogen was initially diagnosed with the condition this time last year, just
a few days before Christmas.
Her mother said: 'Her
newborn jaundice never cleared so we took her to the doctors. I wasn't
really concerned at the time, I just thought it would be something
'But the doctor booked us in for blood tests at the hospital and on Christmas Eve, she was being operated on. It was a really scary time.'
Mother and daughter both went under the knife on September 5th and are recovering well
The aim of Imogen's initial
operation was to re-plumb her liver in the hope that bile could be
emptied from the liver and she could be cured.
However, after three hours under the knife, it became clear that the operation had not been successful.
The family was forced to spend
Christmas day in hospital with just three other people on the ward.
Shortly afterwards, they learned of the living liver transplant procedure.
'We got the ball rolling straight away,' said Ms Rogers. 'You need to go through quite a lot, and before I could have any tests to see if I was compatible I had to loose about 30lbs, so it was about May or June time before they would even start looking at me.
'When I lost the weight I had to have scans of my liver, an abdomen MRI, and numerous X-rays. I had 18 blood samples taken in a single day at one point – and I'm scared of needles!
'We then got a date for the donation at the end of July but the doctor felt we should wait as long as possible to give Imogen as much time with her own liver as possible, so it wasn't until the end of August that the operation went ahead.'
The left side of Charlotte's liver was removed to be given to Imogen. Because the liver regenerates, the right side of Charlotte's liver will grow to compensate the missing piece. Imogen will also grow a full-sized liver
Mother and daughter both went under the knife on September 5 this year – when Imogen was just 11 months old.
'I think Sebastian was in a meltdown,' recalled Ms Rogers. 'Having both of his girls under anaesthetic at the same time – and in two different hospitals – was just awful for him.'
In the complex operations that took a massive nine hours to complete, the left side of Charlotte's liver was removed at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital in Birmingham and whisked over to Birmingham Children's Hospital to be given to Imogen.
The liver regenerates, meaning that the right side of Charlotte's liver will grow to compensate the missing piece. The left side of the liver given to Imogen, will also grow to a full sized liver.
Following the operation, Ms Rogers had to wait an agonising six days before she got to see her daughter.
'Luckily the transplant coordinator took lots of pictures for me so I could see that she was PK.
'But when I saw her it was just lovely and she did brilliantly. She got out of intensive care before I did.'
She added: 'We've both been recovering really well. I tend to get quite tired but Imogen just hasn't looked back – it's like she's pressed fast forward.
'If I hadn't given Imogen part of my liver, we could still be going to bed every night wondering if we'd be woken up with a phone call telling us they'd found a donor.
'So may people die waiting for transplants – Imogen could so easily not have made it.'
Throughout the process, Imogen's family have been busy raising money for the Children's Liver disease foundation.
The family and their friends have also managed to raise 40,000 for the Children's Liver Disease Foundation during Imogen's treatment
Ms Rogers explained: 'We've done a bit of fundraising to say thank you. Sebastian did the great North Run – and lost 5 stone to do it – and we've also held a charity ball with a yellow theme.
'Overall we've raised about 40,000 – we're just really pleased we could help.'
Catherine Arkley, Chief Executive of
Children's Liver Disease Foundation, said: 'It is wonderful to see
Imogen doing so well now and I'm sure this Christmas will be a really
special one for the family.
'CLDF has been in contact with Seb and Charlotte ever since Imogen was diagnosed with biliary atresia, providing information about her condition as well as emotional support.
'The amazing thing about this family is that during a truly anxious and worrying time they have enabled a huge amount of fundraising for us – 40,000 to date.
Lisa Burnapp, Lead Nurse for Living Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: 'It is wonderful that this family have had the opportunity to restore their lives through a living liver transplant for their daughter.
'Most liver transplants are carried out using organs that are donated after death and, whilst overall numbers remain stable, many patients die waiting for a suitable organ to become available.
'Due to welcome advances in road safety and prevention of catastrophic strokes through early detection and treatment of high blood pressure, the number of organs available for transplantation has fallen.
'I strongly urge everyone to join the NHS Organ Donor Register so that you can help someone who is in need of a life-saving organ transplant like Imogen.
'Call the Donor Line now on 0300 123 23 23 or go to www.organ donation.nhs.uk. Most importantly, let your family know of your wishes.'
VIDEO: What is Biliary Atresia
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