Thanks to a life-saving liver donation, three-year-old Elyarra Joly has been able to live like a regular toddler the last couple of months.“She’s doing amazing now,” said her mother, Elizabeth Judd.
NorthernLife.ca met with Judd and her daughter in early August, shortly before Elyarra traveled to Toronto for her liver transplant.At the time, she was jaundiced, quiet, and had large bumps around her body from cholesterol deposits.
Her mother said thanks to her new liver she barely resembles the sick child of just two months prior.
“I’m amazed every day that she wakes up and calls my name,” Judd said. “She’s so happy.”
Elyarra was born with a rare and devastating disorder called Alagille syndrome, that affects one in every 100,000 live births.
Alagille syndrome causes abnormalities in a person’s bile ducts, resulting in a build-up of the digestive fluid that scars the liver and prevents it from working properly to eliminate waste from the bloodstream.
There is no cure for Alagille syndrome, but Elyarra’s liver transplant has drastically improved her quality of life.
She will need to take anti-rejection medications for the rest of her life, but has not experienced any side effects from the drugs so far.
Judd said results from her blood work have been positive. With a healthy liver, her family can now focus on her less urgent health matters including a heart murmur, an enlarged spleen and smaller-than-normal valves to her lungs.
While the liver donor asked to remain anonymous, Judd said she plans to write a letter thanking them. She can deliver the letter to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, who can forward it to the donor or their family.