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Vaughan toddler's liver transplant gives hope to another family
June 20, 2015
By Andrea Piunno

As a nine-month-old girl from Vaughan continues to recover in hospital, after receiving a life-saving liver transplant from her mother, her family wants to raise awareness to help other children and families in need of an organ donor.

Delfina Budziak, who has a congenital liver disease called biliary atresia, underwent life-saving liver surgery at Toronto General Hospital on Thursday.

“Both of them are pretty uncomfortable right now. But both are progressing really well, and I’m so proud of both of them,” Budziak’s father, Peter, said on Saturday.

“It’s tough to watch your daughter go through that, let alone your wife. It’s good that she was able to be the one to do it.”

Initially, Delfina’s mother, Betsy, was ruled out as a potential donor after doctors found nodules on her liver. Delfina’s father also did not qualify as a donor.

In May, her parents took their desperate plea for a live donor to Facebook. Hundreds of people from across North America and even Europe reached out about being a potential donor.

Then, good news arrived as Betsy’s nodules were removed, giving the family new hope, thus allowing her to donate a portion of her liver.

While Delfina recovers at the Hospital for Sick Children, another baby is awaiting a liver transplant. Five-month-old Jacob Craig-Gregory has the same disease as Delfina, and his parents have also made a public appeal for liver donors.

“We’ve seen other children who have the same condition as Jacob. Delfina’s parents have shared our page,” Kaitlin Craig-Crawford, Jacob’s mother, said.

Jacob’s parents said hearing about Delfina’s story continues to bring them hope that a match will be found soon.

“There’s so many kids and families who need it. There’s these times where you feel like it’s never going to end,”

Budziak’s father said. “And all of a sudden something happens and then you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Delfina will likely be recovering in hospital over the next couple of months, but her parents are hopeful they’ll be able to celebrate her first birthday with her at her home in September.

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