Hello to August and a new face in the LifeLink® Faces of Transplantation Calendar. Meet Ashtyn Rainey.
Ashalana noticed her 5-month-old daughter, Ashtyn, developed labored breathing, her lips and fingertips were blue, and she wasn’t eating much. Covid-19 had swept the country and Ashalana feared her daughter had caught the virus. Ashalana took Ashtyn to the emergency room, where the good news was, Ashtyn did not have COVID. However, Ashtyn was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a condition in which the bile ducts of the liver are damaged, impacting liver function. Ashtyn needed a liver transplant. Ashalana volunteered to donate a portion of her liver to save her daughter’s life, but as a single mother was advised by Ashtyn’s medical team not to do so.
Instead, an initially anonymous living donor came forward to save Ashtyn’s life. Since then, the families have been able to connect and are no longer strangers. Ashalana says, “I birthed Ashtyn and gave her life, but her living donor gave her life a second time.” This sentiment was especially poignant once Ashalana learned Ashtyn’s donor couldn’t have children and felt compelled to give life instead through living organ donation. Ashalana is forever grateful to Ashtyn’s donor for the chance to watch Ashtyn, now a typical toddler full of energy, who loves to dance and explore nature.