Meet Koral. She's the kind of girl that dives head first into life. She
wastes no opportunity to explore the world around her, or to laugh
infectiously. No chair or hill or rock goes unclimbed while she is around. Koral has a laugh that could melt the heart of a snowman.
In April, Koral will celebrate her 3rd birthday. A milestone her parents were once afraid she would never see. When Koral was born, her parents noticed her skin and eyes getting more yellow and knew that something was wrong. They were told that their daughter simply was jaundiced. Thankfully Koral's mom, Keri, followed her gut instinct and got a second opinion. And Koral was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called Biliary Atresia. A disease in which the child is born with little or no bile ducts, causing the liver not to drain bile properly. This disease can be detected by a Total Biliary Rubin test, that unfortunately not all parents are aware of.
Koral immediately underwent a Kasai surgery, in which the small intestines are attached to the liver in an effort to help the liver drain the excess bile. Unfortunately Koral's little liver had suffered too much damage and she was in desperate need of a new one. Her parents remember watching their tiny baby getting worse and worse and felt helpless wondering if she would ever get her much needed liver transplant. Miraculously, on February 5th, 2009, Koral received that gift and it came from her own mother! The both of them pulled through the surgery and within a day Koral's yellow coloring started to disappear, and by weeks end she was able to sit up and play and was her glowing energetic self.
Koral will need the assistance of several medications for the rest of her life and requires monthly blood testing and monitoring. She may end up needing yet another liver transplant, and because of her meds, may eventually need a kidney transplant as well. But despite all of this, her parents are optimistic about the bright and shining future of their little star. And from her mom " She is an angel and a blessing to us everyday, and we don't take a day with her for granted. I may have given her part of my liver, but she gave me all of her heart and all of her trust for her to grow from a Tiny Light into a shining Star "
Photo courtesy of Indie Claire Photography