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Nurse garners praise for saving the life of a 20-month-old baby by donating part of her liver to him

This act of kindness for a stranger didn't just save the kid's life but also set an example of selfless gestures in today's world.

Nurse garners praise for saving the life of a 20-month-old baby by donating part of her liver to him
Cover Image Source: YouTube | WTAE-TV Pittsburgh

Donating organs is a profoundly compassionate act, a testament to a person's selflessness to save another's life. In a heartwarming tale of kindness and resilience, Logan Salva found hope and healing in the form of an organ donation. According to Good Morning America, Logan Salva, a 20-month-old boy from Ocala, Florida, was confronted with a formidable challenge early in life. Shortly after his birth, he was diagnosed with Alagille syndrome, a rare genetic disorder known to cause malformed bile ducts, potentially leading to liver failure, as explained by the National Institutes of Health



As the Salva family dealt with this grim diagnosis, doctors informed them that Logan required a liver transplant. However, the waiting list for such a transplant was daunting, with estimates suggesting a wait of up to five years, according to the NIH. Faced with this stark reality, Logan's family turned to an alternative option: living-donor liver transplantation, a procedure in which a portion of a healthy person's liver is generously offered to someone in need.




Despite their best efforts, no one within Logan's family proved to be a suitable match. The family expanded their search, casting a wider net of hope for young Logan's future. In a remarkable twist of fate, Makenzie Beach, a registered nurse from Erie, Pennsylvania, emerged as the perfect match. Surprisingly, Beach had no prior connection to Logan or his family. However, her decision to become a living donor was unwavering, driven by an innate sense of empathy. In an interview shared by UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Beach said, "It was the right thing to do in my mind. It's what I would want someone to do for my family," she was quoted as saying by GMA. 

Her good health and the support network around her made it possible for her to embark on this journey. Initially, the transplant was scheduled for earlier in the summer but faced an unexpected delay when Logan contracted RSV. This delay left Logan's family in a state of anxious uncertainty. But to their relief, they received a heartwarming message: "Donor is willing to wait and postpone [the transplant] for a month."



On June 8, the transplant operation was successfully performed, marking a life-changing moment for Logan and his family. Logan's mother, Rasika Marletto-Salva, noticed immediate improvements in her son's health after the procedure. Alagille syndrome had caused visible symptoms such as yellowish skin and eyes, which began to fade after the transplant. Logan's complexion improved within days, and he gradually started to resemble a healthy, typical child.

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The act of living organ donation, such as that performed by Beach, is a relatively rare occurrence. According to the Cleveland Clinic, only about 5% of liver transplant recipients receive their organs from living donors. This unique procedure is possible because the liver regenerates, returning to its normal size and function within months for both the donor and the recipient.




Remarkably, Beach returned to work just weeks after the transplant despite having never undergone surgery before this experience. She acknowledged the transformative impact this journey had on her both personally and professionally. The emotional culmination of this extraordinary journey occurred on August 30, when Beach had the opportunity to meet Logan for the first time. The encounter took place through a Zoom call with Beach in Pennsylvania and Logan and his family at their Florida home. Upon seeing Logan, Beach couldn't help but express her amazement at his transformation. Marletto-Salva seized this moment to extend her heartfelt gratitude to Beach, particularly for providing her son with what she described as a "wonderful liver."



Both Beach and Marletto-Salva aspire to raise awareness and hoping their story will inform people about the significance of living donations, such as those for livers and kidneys. Marletto-Salva emphasized the vital role of education: "So many people have no clue, and that's one thing that this journey, to me, it's more than just his story, it's the fact that it's helped us inform people as much as possible about the necessity and the importance of living donations." She also considers Beach a part of her family now: "We love you, you are part of our family, you are part of Logan's life forever," reported abc-affiliate WTAE


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