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Why organ donation matters

Little Aria’s story made national headlines earlier this year when her mum, Autumn, told how she overcame her fear of undergoing surgery to donate a part of her liver to her baby girl. To mark Organ Donation week, Aria’s dad, Ryan shares an update on their story.

Aria’s story made headlines in January 

Although we were delighted that Aria’s transplant in October was a success, this year has not been an easy one for her. This month is her 20th in hospital between Leeds General Infirmary and Glasgow Hospital for Children. 

Aria had some very rocky moments mainly relating to her weight gain and nutritional balance and getting her TPN just right for her, along with some serious issues with her portal vein which carries blood from the liver to the spleen. She is currently recovering from surgery which hasn’t quite gone to plan and there are more operations on the horizon but at least she has made it back to Glasgow which makes family life easier. 

Autumn had a very speedy recovery; she was back in her skinny jeans just a couple weeks after surgery. The biggest hurdle she faced was having to self-medicate with blood thinning injections daily for six weeks post- surgery. Other than that, she made a complete recovery with no negative side- effects at all. 

Aria’s mum Autumn has made a complete recovery  

Throughout this year, Autumn and I have been trained up to manage Aria outside hospital as she is TPN dependent, along with multiple other issues such as a gastrostomy button for her minuscule feeds, and stoma care – in fact we have pretty much had to take on the role of nurse parents.  

Aria’s gift from her mum saved her life and bought her time. It let her grow enough to get her first words out, to develop a sense of humour and a real sense of mischief to go with it. 

Naturally, we are huge supporters of organ donation. If someone has sadly passed away yet had healthy useable organs, it seems such a waste not to use these organs to save someone’s life. And although Aria was lucky enough to receive an emergency liver transplant from her mum, we know that in the future, she will more than likely be on the transplant assessment list again for a bowel and liver transplant that will truly save her life and hopefully start her life in a much healthier place. 

Aria will need further surgery in the future

CLDF helped us with literature in those early days and we know are still there for us. Our story is one of many but if it helps teach others about what it’s like to live with serious illness and how important organ donation is, then we are more than happy to share it. 


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