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Maia – liver recipient, VIC

A photo of Maia
The doctors told us it was like winning the reverse lottery…

Maia was barely one day old when her parents knew something was terribly wrong. She was flat, lethargic, not feeding well and seemed to be finding it hard to breathe.

Maia had a rare genetic disorder, propionic acidemia, in which the body is unable to process certain proteins and fats properly.

“The doctors told us it was like winning the reverse lottery,” Maia’s mum Tara said. “Our lives changed forever during those months, as a family we started living at Ronald McDonald house, so we could be close to Maia.”

For 12 months Maia was tube fed and her diet required careful monitoring, she would often vomit after every feed. “It was so hard for us to watch her struggle, and within herself she wasn’t a happy little girl,” Tara said.

When she turned one, Maia was placed on the waitlist for a new liver. Transplant was her best hope at a normal life. Nine months later little Maia underwent her life-changing surgery. The change in her was immediate.

“It was like her whole body was benefiting from the transplant,” Tara said. She was no longer vomiting after each feed and she’d become a happy and animated toddler.

“We are very grateful to Maia’s donor and feel so blessed that she has been given the best chance at a normal life.”

Kathy Heagney
Graphic of native plants

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