This Online Mom Group Crowdsourced An Organ To Save A Baby'S Life
It’s no secret that online mom groups can do amazing things to help support new mothers, but one in particular actually helped save a baby’s life. Robin Bliven shared a post on Facebook about how her mom’s group rallied to save a baby who needed a liver transplant, and the heartwarming story has gone viral.
“People can say a lot of things about mom’s groups on the internet,” she wrote alongside a photo of a woman holding a baby at what appears to be a hospital. “Here’s what I can tell you about mine: When I was in the hospital with Bailey, as she was headed to emergency surgery, scared and alone, my mom’s group showed up to hold me.”
“When we found out one of our littles had cancer last week, the cavalry circled the wagons and loaded down that sweet momma and her fighter piper with more than they could carry,” Bliven continued. “And when this little sack of sugar, Cal, needed a LIVER from a live donor in order to survive, over 100 moms from my group called to be screened as potential donors.”
Many liver donations come from deceased donors but, in this particular case, a living donor was needed to give up part of their liver, giving Cal’s liver the chance to regenerate. (A child’s liver can regenerate into a normal size in a few weeks.)
Bliven said that Andrea Alberto, who she dubbed “this beautiful hero mom,” ended up being a match.
“Tomorrow this sweet baby will head to a 10-hour surgery to receive a liver from a mommy he’d never met except through Facebook,” Bliven wrote. “She is a single mom who has left her two kids at home and travelled from Boston to New Haven to give away a piece of her body so this baby can live.”
Alberto told TODAY Parents that it was easy for her to decide to help baby Cal.
“I knew organ donation was something I would be willing to do, so when I found out Cal was being listed for transplant, it was an easy decision,” she said.
“I don’t think your relationship with someone is necessary for doing something to help them,” she continued. “If there is someone in need and there is something you can reasonably do to help them, why wouldn’t you do it? I like to think that if it was one of my kids in need, someone from my extended network would step in to help.”
Alberto said both she and baby Cal are doing “great” and having “very typical” recoveries, and Cal went home after 25 days. Alberto left the hospital after two weeks, and says she wants other people to consider becoming liver donors.
“I can’t tell you how many people had no idea liver donation was possible, and even those that know typically don’t realize an adult can donate to an infant,” she said. “And there are lots of babies out there waiting on a healthy liver.”
Alberto urged others to get information if they’re interested in becoming a donor.