Tayten’s Story

At just three months of age, Tayten was in and out of the hospital due to his diagnosis of biliary atresia. This life-threatening condition meant his bile ducts didn’t have normal openings, and bile built up in and damaged his liver, leading to loss of liver tissue, scarring and cirrhosis.

After a few years, Tayten’s doctor told his family that a liver transplant would be necessary, but there weren’t many deceased baby donors. However a different option, live donor liver donation, was available. After being tested, Tayten’s aunt Chelsie was a perfect anatomical match. Without giving a second thought, Chelsie agreed to be his donor.

Only three percent of liver donations are from a live donor. “Liver surgery is always complex,” said Chelsie and Tayten’s doctor, “but doing a live liver transplant is more complex than a cadaver transplant because you have to retain the functioning portion of the liver in the live donor.”

“They tell you all the statistics about possible complications, not to scare you but to make sure you really want to do this,” said Chelsie. “I work in health care, I knew what I was getting into.”

After an almost 12-hour surgery, the transplant was complete. Chelsie donated 35% of her liver to Tayten. Chelsie stayed in the hospital for two weeks, and Tayten stayed in for 15 days. Within 90 days, both livers would be re-grown.

A lover of all things superhero, he recently wore his Superman shoes when he got to meet Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who was in town to support organ donation awareness.