Getting Back to Life – A Mother and Daughter’s Remarkable Journey to Get There

Haley walked down the hallway of the hospital to her daughter Adleigh’s room. It was the first time she would see her after four days. As she walked into the room, she looked at her daughter and immediately thought – We did it! And that they did. Just four days earlier; Haley was in the hospital herself to donate a portion of her liver to save her daughter’s life

When six-year-old Adleigh was an infant, she was diagnosed with bilary atresia, a congenital condition affecting her liver. At that time, Haley and her husband John were told their daughter may someday need a liver transplant. That someday would come five years later when Adleigh was put on the transplant list. When Haley and John learned about the living donor program available in Pittsburgh, they traveled 800 miles for Adleigh and Haley to be evaluated. After a week of intense evaluation, they headed back home to await the results.

“I just kept praying to be a match for my daughter,” said Haley.

Gratefully, they didn’t need to wait long to get the news they wanted to hear – mom was a match.  “It was the greatest relief,” said Haley.

Once again making the 800 mile drive to Pittsburgh, the family got Adleigh checked into one hospital and got Haley situated at another. When the big day arrived, Haley went into surgery to have 40% of her liver removed while Adleigh was in another Operating Room across the city being prepped to receive it.

Both mom and daughter did exceptionally well. Expecting to be in the hospital for a week, Haley was released in days and overjoyed to be reunited with Adleigh. Adleigh was to be released in a month but joined her family after 15 days at the Ronald McDonald House where she spent the rest of her recovery.

Haley describes staying at the Ronald McDonald House as a blessing for her family. In the beginning, while Haley was recovering in the hospital, John remained with Adleigh.  His parents stayed at the Ronald McDonald House with Adleigh’s four-year-old brother, Eli. The additional family support meant everything.

Staying at the House, which is connected to the hospital, was a tremendous convenience for the family. It meant they could be by Adleigh’s side every day. Once she joined them, they would walk to the hospital for her labs which were early in the morning and then come back to have breakfast together.

Adleigh and Eli also loved spending time in the playroom where they made many friends. Adleigh formed an incredible bond with another little girl staying at the House. They became instant pals and looked forward to seeing each other daily.

“She made a special friend for life there,” Haley said.

In early April, both Haley and Adleigh were able to go home. Excited to get back to life, they were looking forward to planting their garden, something they enjoy doing together. Adleigh was also happy to ride her bike, visit her grandparents, who live just next door, and sing in front of her Church.  This Mother’s Day will, no doubt, be extra special for Haley, Adleigh and their entire family.