February 17, 2010

Cards for Aria

This is adorable Aria...


Aria is three-and-a-half years old, and comes from Manurewa, Auckland, New Zealand. Aria received her gift of life on the 6th of February, a small bowel, kidney, liver and pancreas transplant at the Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha, USA.

Soon after birth she was diagnosed with a very rare condition of the bowel known as total intestinal aganglionosis or total Hirschsprung’s disease. There is no cure and it means she will never be able to digest food.  Total intestinal aganglionosis is where there are no nerves cell throughout the entire bowel to squeeze the food along to be digested. Hirschsprungs is common where a portion of the bowel contains no nerves and can be fixed by removing the effected portion of bowel and reconnecting the healthy remaining bowel. Aria’s form of the disease means this is not an option because there is no healthy bowel.

Aria’s only hope of long term survival and a chance to eat rests in small bowel, liver, pancreas and kidney transplant. These organs have come from a single child donor whose family made a brave and difficult decision to donate life at a desperately terrible time. This operation is not done in NZ or Australia but the best place is America with the cost of $1-$2 million US dollars. It is still a risky operation but the odds of survival are getting better as advances in medical knowledge continue.

Aria's favorite color is purple. She loves Winnie the Pooh, Barney, Dora, and the Wiggles. Actually her little brother Asher likes the Wiggles and Aria tells us she likes the Wiggles for Ashie! She loves numbers and counting. She loves books, and reading is her favorite thing to do. Cooking and puzzles and painting are fun activities for Aria too.

The family includes:

  • Aria, Age 3 1/2.
  • Brother - Asher, age 2.
  • Mom - Anita.
  • Dad - Hamish.

Aria is a lovely, courageous little girl who handles the trials in her life amazingly well. Her life is a precious gift from God who is taking the MacDonald family on a journey according to His great purposes.

To learn more about Aria, visit her blog HERE.

UPDATE: Aria's first transplant failed, but thankfully she was able to receive a second multi organ transplant a few weeks later. This seems to have been successful and she is now at home with her family. The McDonald family will be living in Omaha for the next few years as Aria's medical care continues. She has been able to start walking short distances, and enjoys playing and reading with her little brother, Asher. Her health is still precarious, but she is one determined little kid!