When Beth Rescsanski posted to her mom group on Facebook about her 11-month-old son, Callum, needing a liver transplant in order to survive, she wasn�t sure what the response would be. Online mom groups can be judgmental, with members who would rather look down on or make fun of others instead of being helpful.
In Rescanski�s case, however, the opposite proved to be true. Within hours, over 100 moms from the group reached out to be screened as possible donors for her son.
Another mom from the group followed up with a post in September recognizing Andrea Alberto, the woman who ended up being a match for the liver transplant. Even though Alberto was a complete stranger to the family, she stepped up to donate a piece of her liver to save Callum�s life.
“People can say a lot of things about mom�s groups on the internet,” Bliven wrote in her post. “Here�s what I can tell you about mine… 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.�
Bliven�s post goes on to explain that Alberto is a single mom who had to leave her two kids and travel from Boston to New Haven,CT to have invasive surgery in order to save a baby�s life, who she had never met.
While some transplants can be done using the organs from a deceased person, Callum needed a piece of a living organ in order to give his liver the chance to regenerate. A child’s liver can regenerate into a normal size within just a few weeks.
For Alberto, the decision to donate an organ was an easy one once she found out she was a match.
“I don’t think your relationship with someone is necessary for doing something to help them,” Alberto told Today Parents. “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 rests post-surgery with her two sons…
Both Alberto and baby Callum are recovering nicely after the surgery. Alberto encourages other people to consider becoming a living organ donor, if they can.
“If you are open to the idea of donation, get more information,” Alberto said. “You don’t need to wait until it’s a family or friend who needs an organ � odds are, they never will. But someone else’s loved one already does need your organ. Find out if you’re a match. You can save someone’s life.”
Instead of thank you notes, Alberto is hoping that people inspired by her story will consider donating to her fundraiser for Mustard Seed Communities, an organization in the Caribbean that supports kids and adults with complex medical issues. Click here to find out how you can help.
(Source: images Andrea Alberto Facebook)