‘I Would Give Her My Liver If I Could.’ A New Mother Will Give Her Baby A Part Of Her Body After Discovering She Suffers From A Rare Liver Disease.

When she was just weeks old, baby Poppy was diagnosed with a rare liver disease, which only affects one in every 18,000 children. Now her mother Rachel Gage has promised to donate her liver to her daughter so she can live.

Poppy has been diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare condition which causes the bile ducts in the liver to become progressively blocked and that, in turn, leads to irreversible liver damage.

She underwent a life-saving operation, but doctors are calculating the chance that Poppy will need a liver transplant in the next two years at 85 percent.

Today, just a month following her daughter’s operation, her mother Rachel hopes that her own liver will be enough to save Poppy’s life, should she need it. Rachel, a primary school teacher from Darlington, England, told The Daily Mail:

I would do anything for her and I would give her my liver if I could.

1. Doting mom Rachel Gage has vowed that if her daughter Poppy, who suffers from a rare liver condition biliary atresia which causes inflammation of the bile ducts and liver, needs a liver transplant she will donate hers.

'I Would Give Her My Liver If I Could.' A New Mother Will Give Her Newborn A Part Of Her Body After Discovering She Suffers From A Rare Liver Disease.

2. The condition affects only one in 16,000 children and Poppy has already spent stretches of her life in hospital.

'I Would Give Her My Liver If I Could.' A New Mother Will Give Her Newborn A Part Of Her Body After Discovering She Suffers From A Rare Liver Disease.

3. Poppy, who was only 5 lbs at birth, was diagnosed with the disease at just seven weeks old.

'I Would Give Her My Liver If I Could.' A New Mother Will Give Her Newborn A Part Of Her Body After Discovering She Suffers From A Rare Liver Disease.

At birth, Poppy was weighing just over 5 lbs and Rachel and her Dale Thomas noticed that the baby’s skin was jaundiced. After several appointments with GPs, the doctors made the diagnosis. Rachel said:

I didn’t have a clue what it was then they started talking about the liver and I just broke down. No words could describe how I felt. We were both hoping it was something different. I just kept telling myself that everything was going to be OK.

With no alternative, parents Rachel and Dale kissed their baby goodbye and handed her over to doctors to complete the surgery. Rachel said:

It was awful. We had to take her down to theater and then we gave her a kiss goodbye. She’s our little miracle.

Now 11-weeks-old, Poppy is doing well after the operation to clear the build-up of bile from her liver and doctors are satisfied with her progress. The parents, however, are expected to be told whether Poppy will be needing a liver transplant in the near future.

In the meantime, Rachel hopes that her daughter’s story will raise awareness of the disease.

4. Rachel and her partner Dale cradle their daughter Poppy who suffers from a rare liver disease.

'I Would Give Her My Liver If I Could.' A New Mother Will Give Her Newborn A Part Of Her Body After Discovering She Suffers From A Rare Liver Disease.

5. Doting Dale sat with his daughter Poppy at the hospital after it was discovered that she has biliary atresia.

'I Would Give Her My Liver If I Could.' A New Mother Will Give Her Newborn A Part Of Her Body After Discovering She Suffers From A Rare Liver Disease.

What is biliary atresia?

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases describe bilary atresia as:

Biliary atresia is a life-threatening condition in infants in which the bile ducts inside or outside the liver do not have normal openings.

Biliary atresia is rare and only affects about one out of every 18,000 infants.1 The disease is more common in females, premature babies, and children of Asian or African American heritage.

Bile ducts in the liver, also called hepatic ducts, are tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder for storage and to the small intestine for use in digestion. Bile is a fluid made by the liver that serves two main functions: carrying toxins and waste products out of the body and helping the body digest fats and absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Symptoms include pale stools, yellowed skin, dark urine and potentially frequent nosebleeds.

Those who suffer from bilary atresia will generally undergo the Kasai procedure where the bile is drained from the liver into the gut.

The causes of the disease are unknown and even after the Kasai procedure is complete there is still a large risk of further issues such as bloody stools, itching and in some cases failure to thrive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

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