A Colorado woman is set to undergo surgery Thursday to donate a portion of her liver to a sick baby, making her one of only a handful of people in the country to donate multiple organs.
Brandi Thornton is expected to become a “double donor” this week after she donates part of her liver to a baby at the Children’s Hospital in Colorado. She had matched with the sick child on the donor registry, Fox 31 reported.
“I know he’s little because they’re taking a smaller portion and I was told that he’s very young and he’s very sick,” she told the news station.
Thornton, a mother of two, said her inspiration came after a young girl she knew died while on the waiting list for a lung transplant.
“The thought of her sitting in the hospital knowing that she needed lungs in order to survive and knew that there was a chance that they weren’t going to come, it just bothered me so much,” she said.
In March 2017, Thornton, determined to help in any way she could, added her name to the living donor list for kidney transplants and was matched with a man in Ohio, Fox 31 reported.
But, she said she felt like she “it was on my heart to do more.”
After rounds of testing, Thornton said she was approved to donate a portion of her liver. She called it “rare.”
“A lot of hospitals don’t allow kidney donors to donate a portion of their liver because nobody knows what the long term is,” she told the station.
The surgery, originally scheduled for May 29, was bumped to Thursday over concerns for the sick child’s health.
Thornton will be in recovery for around 12 weeks and because of the rescheduling, she will miss a month of pay at her job as the health clerk at Red Hawk Elementary School in Erie, north of Denver, Fox 13 reported.
“I was approved for a leave of medical absence, which means I can return to my job in the fall but I do not get paid for it.”
She set up a GoFundMe campaign to help with some of the bills.
“I really want this to work for this little boy,” Thornton told the local station. “This little boy has lived his entire life being sick so having to go through 12 weeks of recovery is nothing compared to what some of these people have to go through.”
There are over 113,000 people on the national transplant list since January, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. An average of 20 people die each day waiting to be approved for a transplant.