In Your Area
Ann Ford, the LIVEr Champion for our Maine Liver Life Walk, started her battle against liver disease at two months old. Read about Ann's journey with liver disease below.
Ann was born August 20, 2013. When she was two months old, a family friend, who is a nurse, noticed she looked a bit yellow. Orignally, the doctor thought it could be breast milk jaundice and suggested getting her out in the sun more and giving her some vitamin D drops. A week passed and Ann developed a very bad cold with yellow mucus. Upon examination, the doctor noticed an enlarged liver and ordered blood work. After extensive tests, Ann was diagnosed with biliary atresia. Biliary atresia is a disease which affects only infants and prevents the flow of bile from the liver, causing a toxic back-up.
Ann with her mother, Patty
Ann underwent major surgery, the Kasai Procedure, in an attempt to correct the affected bile ducts. A third of children who undergo this procedure will never experience further complications, a third will require a liver transplant during adulthood, and a third will require a liver transplant during childhood. The procedure made no improvement; in fact, Ann became very sick with multiple infections and had to undergo further surgeries following the initial procedure. As Ann's condition failed to improve, her care was transferred from Maine to Boston to work with the team at Children's Hospital.
Shortly after Ann arrived in Boston, she was placed on the transplant list. On December 16, 2013, a week after Ann was placed on the list, she received the life-saving gift of a new liver. She was not even four months old. Ann spent her first Christmas in the hospital. A week after Ann was discharged, she was readmitted due to an infection and the doctors feared she could be rejecting her new organ. Ann was able to fight off the infection and bounced back. She was discharged home shortly after the New Year with frequent bloodwork and trips to Boston to monitor her recovery. Now, she travels to Boston every six months and has blood work done monthly.
Ann is back to being the happy girl her parents and big brother welcomed into the world. She will be two this summer. She likes climbing, running, and laughing with her family. Ann is a survivor and true champion. Ann's parents are so thankful for the unconditional support from their family and friends and the hard work from all the doctors who helped save Ann's life. Ann's parents love getting to spend every day with their beautiful, thriving baby girl.
If you would like to share your story through our Patient Spotlight, please contact our Community Outreach and Education Manager, Lindsay Ventura, at firstname.lastname@example.org