A Miracle Transplant Saves an Infant from a Deadly Disease

A Miracle Transplant Saves an Infant from a Deadly Disease

Shortly after birth, Deanna Lynn Anderson, or “Baby D” as her family lovingly called her, began to appear jaundiced, with yellowish skin and eyes. As with most otherwise healthy newborns, she was sent home with a biliblanket, a treatment involving light and permeable fabric. Within two weeks, Deanna’s coloring returned to normal, and she no longer required the blanket. The Anderson family was elated, thinking Deanna was in the clear. However, they soon discovered a misdiagnosis of a rare liver disease would almost cost Deanna her life.

Both reality and fear struck when Heidi and Eric Anderson learned that their precious little girl had biliary atresia, a genetic birth defect causing bile flow obstruction. Deanna immediately received a Kasai procedure, in which a surgeon removes any problematic bile ducts outside the liver and attaches the small intestine directly to the liver.

Unfortunately, less than a month later, Deanna showed symptoms that the Kasai procedure had failed to resolve the obstruction. Devastated, the Andersons immediately turned to the Miami Transplant Institute, an affiliation between Jackson Health System and UHealth. It was there, only two months later, that Baby D received her lifesaving liver transplant from a multidisciplinary team of transplant experts. Now, Deanna is almost three years old and couldn’t be happier — or healthier.

Learn more about the Miami Transplant Institute, one of the largest and most comprehensive programs in the nation – and home to many transplant miracles.