A liver transplant has already made a difference for 11-year-old Allexis Siebrecht, who says she can now enjoy things as simple as breathing.
The Winnipeg girl and her mother spoke to reporters on Wednesday, a day after they returned home from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, where she underwent the life-saving procedure.
Allexis was born with Biliary Atresia, a rare liver disease that affects about 10 in 20,000 infants.
She said before she received her new liver, she could not do anything strenuous such as walking up stairs.
“But now I can breathe. Now I can like run up the stairs and, like, dance better and sleep,” she said.
Allexis said she’s happy to be back home with her family, her friends and her fish.
Liver donor thanked
She and her mother thanked the family of the liver donor, a deceased 20-year-old person.
“They’ve truly, like, given her the opportunity to live a much longer life and healthier life,” said Liz Siebrecht, Allexis’s mother.
Liz Siebrecht, left, and her daughter, Allexis, speak to reporters in Winnipeg on Wednesday. Eleven-year-old Allexis received a liver transplant in Toronto. (CBC)
“Their loved one’s life is going to live through Allexis.”
Siebrecht said Allexis had lost weight before and after the transplant surgery, but after she recovered a bit, she gained five pounds in one week.
The doctors even advised Allexis to slow down on the weight gain, Siebrecht said.
When asked what she likes to eat now, Allexis replied, “Burgers and chicken and chocolate.”
The transplant will not mean an end to hospital visits and medication for Allexis, however, as she’ll have to be hospitalized if she gets sick.
As well, she will have to take anti-rejection and immunity medication that will cost upwards of $2,000 a month, Siebrecht said.
“We have a lot of different planning to do,” she said, when asked about covering post-transplant costs.
Siebrecht also thanked everyone who provided financial and moral support to the family before, during and after the transplant.