Chris and Sarah St. James recently gave birth to their second child—a baby girl named Sloan. For the first few months, Sloan was a healthy, happy baby. Like most babies, Soan had chubby cheeks and a pudgy belly.
However, at four-months-old, Chris and Sarah noticed that Sloan had grown a little bit too much. Her belly was enlarged to an abnormal side. In addition to the large belly, Chris and Sarah noticed that she was a little jaundiced.
Sarah decided to schedule an appointment to make sure that Sloan was healthy. When the doctor saw them, though, they realized how serious it might be. According to Sarah, “The doctor took one look at her and told us, ‘take her to the hospital’”
Sarah and Chris immediately drove to the Boston Children’s Hospital. Sloan was admitted and diagnosed with biliary atresia.
Biliary atresia is a disease of the liver. It causes bile ducts in the liver to narrow or block. If left untreated for too long, this can cause complete liver failure.
Sloan’s doctors knew that her liver would fail. They immediately placed her on the transplant list and started searching for potential donors.
Neither of Sloan’s parents could donate. They were not sure if they would be able to find her a donor before her liver shut down.
100 miles away from the children’s hospital that Sloan was being treated in, a police lieutenant was finishing the final stages of getting approved to become a donor. When he found out that there was a four-month-old who needed his help, he was more than ready to donate.
Just as Sloan’s own liver began to shut down, Lieutenant Steve Tenney in Keene, New Hampshire agreed to serve as Sloan’s donor.
Lt. Tenney successfully donated 19 percent of his liver to Sloan. There were no complications during either of the surgeries.
The liver is the only organ that can regenerate, so Steve’s liver will fully grow back once more. Sloan’s liver will be able to grow as she does.
Lt. Tennery shared, “I don’t think of myself as a hero. I did what I had to do. Even my 10-year-old son was unfazed by it. He told me, ‘Saving lives is part of your job.’”
Sloan is now 7-months-old and has been healthy since her recovery. It’s incredible to see what affect the actions of a stranger had on this sweet baby.
In other news, this boy went missing from Alabama 13 years ago. He was recently found in Ohio. Read the full story here.