Sloane St. James’ parents said they noticed something was amiss with their baby girl when she was around 4 months old. Her jaundice wasn’t going away and her stomach had started to grow.
“We called it her little Buddha belly,” Sarah St. James, Sloan’s mother, told Boston 25 News.
But a trip to Boston Children’s Hospital and a two-week stay revealed a dire diagnosis of biliary atresia and set the family on a path that would connect them with a police officer in New Hampshire, Lt. Steven Tenney, who stepped forward to save their little girl.
Tenney, an officer in Keene, said his brother started seeing posts on Facebook about a classmate’s 4-month-old daughter who had been diagnosed with stage four liver failure and needed a life-saving transplant.
“If you can help a 4-month-old baby, you kind of have to do it,” Tenney told the news outlet.
Tenney signed up to get tested to see if he could be a donor, and though he hadn’t been to the doctor in nearly 10 years or had ever had surgery, he was elated to discover he was a match.
“We had so many people praying for us and for Sloan, and to hear that we had a match and that surgery was going to happen in a couple days was a miracle,” St. James told Boston 25 News.
Two months later, the pair have both recovered and since reunited. Sloan has about 19 percent of Tenney’s liver.
"Sloan means 'warrior,'" St. James told Boston Children's Hospital's Pediatric Blog. "We didn't think she would need to be a warrior at such a young age — but she showed us she is."