8-Month-Old Gets Liver Transplant From 'Perfect Match' Godmother

| Inspiration
(Photo: Facebook / Finn the Mighty Warrior's battle with Biliary Atresia and Alpha-1)

8-Month-Old Finn O'Sullivan has been battling not one, but two rare liver conditions and was in desperate need of a transplant. 

The "perfect match" they found was so serendipitous it gives new meaning to the word "godmother." 

According to ABC News, Finn has both biliary atresia and Alpha-1. The first is a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts that occurs in infants and the second a genetic disorder that can cause liver disease.

Finding Finn a liver donor was "exceedingly crucial," Dr. Adam Griesemer, one of his transplant surgeons, said. Without it, he would not have lived long. 

So it was nothing short of a miracle that Sarah McKitterick, who had known little Finn since his birth, was a match and more than willing to donate 18 percent of her liver to help the infant pull through. 

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McKitterick praised the baby's strength calling him "the strongest person she'd ever met."

Since the transplant on April 18, Finn's strength has only been returning and growing. 

"The first time I saw him [after the transplant], I saw the whites of his eyes, something I had never seen before. He has been so ill, so yellow," McKitterick said.

Finn's mother, Kate Mullen, said McKitterick's offer brought her to her knees. Mullen and McKitterick have been friends since they were young, growing up together in the same neighborhood in New Hampshire. 

"I sent her a message [before the transplant] and said 'If you want to stop here I will be forever grateful for the rest of my life.' and she just said, 'Stop it. I’m doing it'” Mullen said. 

McKitterick took the responsibility of housing the liver that would help her godson very seriously. 

"She would Facetime Finn and show him all the healthy liver foods she was eating, like beets and green tea, to demonstrate she was taking care of 'his' liver."

Dr. Benjamin Samstein, McKitterick's surgeon, said the recovery time for her surgery would be about the same as that of a C-Section because the surgery was done laparoscopically. 

"Liver transplant," Samstein said, "is a modern miracle. To see a child that faced near-certain death grow and then see their parents now worry about regular things, like whether they are spending too much time on the iPad, is enormously satisfying."

Though the transplant is still new and Finn is on 24 doses of medication a day, it's expected that the outcome will be positive. The little one could be discharged from the hospital as soon as this weekend, and within a year his parents are hopeful they can get his medication down to two doses a day. 

"Our love for each other unconditional," Mullen said of McKitterick. "I'm so humbled by what she did." 


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