A 5-month-old Pennsylvania boy has spent almost half of his life in the hospital while he awaits a liver transplant caused by a rare, end-stage liver disease.
Wyatt Baile is currently the youngest child with type O blood on the transplant list in New Castle, Pennsylvania, due to biliary atresia, MyFoxBoston.com reported. He is eligible to receive an organ from a living donor.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), biliary atresia is marked by dysfunction of the liver’s bile ducts, which are tubes that transport bile from the liver to the gallbladder for storage and to the small intestine to aid in digestion. They are necessary for the body to release waste and absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
The NIH estimates biliary atresia occurs in about one in every 18,000 infants. Its cause is unknown, and there is no known cure. Untreated, biliary atresia is deadly.
In Wyatt’s case, the little boy needs a portal vessel that would attach to the new liver if he receives one.
A friend of the family has volunteered to be tested to see if there’s a potential match. For now, Wyatt has returned home to be with his parents and 17-month-old sister.
“We’re just glad he’s home with us,” Sarah Baile, Wyatt’s mother, told MyFoxBoston.com. “Most of the babies that have this never leave the hospital.”
The family keeps supporters updated through a Facebook page, which they call their prayer page, where thousands have posted messages of support. They have also started a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of a transplant once a match is found, as well as his recovery at The Ronald McDonald house.