A three-year-old girl from Nebraska, who just died due to brain cancer, gave the gift of life to two boys from Pennsylvania through organ donations. At present, the two organ recipients are recuperating at the Children's Hospital and according to hospital reports, the two boys are in stable conditions following their surgeries.
Lauressa Swedberg, the mother of the late Olivia first came to know Lucas Goeller's condition when Jess Goeller, Lucas' mom, posted his story on Facebook. Lauressa then sent Jess a message, expressing her desire to donate Olivia's organs. According to Lauressa, it was the hardest decision she had to make. The organ transplant operation was performed on the night of Wednesday, July 1 and was completed the next morning, Thursday, July 2. The doctors deemed the organs fit for the patients even though their blood types did not match.
Lucas would have to face death within weeks if the liver transplant did not pushed through, says Dr. George Mazariegos, chief of pediatric transplantation at the Lawrenceville hospital. The Goeller family kept holding on by performing a vigil near the boy's bedside as they are optimistic that Lucas would survive.
"It hasn't sunk in yet that he has had this transplant," says Jess. "I mean were talking about it. Just seems it's too good to be true."
The other boy named Angelo Giorno from Hershey was diagnosed with short gut syndrome and suffered from the external placement of his intestines since birth. He is now 4 years old. He received Olivia's intestine and spleen.
Both boys are recovering well, according to their parents. The parents of Lucas are joyful to see that their son has a smaller stomach now, as his previous liver condition caused him to have an expanded abdomen. Jess even posted a photo of Lucas on Facebook on the morning that the operation was completed. Lucas is currently being weaned off from blood pressure medications, which is a positive sign, says his dad, Rick.
Just near Lucas' room, is Angelo, who is also doing quite well post-surgery. "Today, he's doing remarkably well," says Dean Kuhns, Angelo's dad. "He actually wants to get out of bed, and the doctors were in and they said he was doing remarkably well, so keep saying prayers and so far we're going in the right direction."
The parents of the two boys said that they are thankful for Olivia's organ donations and that they are hoping to meet Lauressa personally. According to the Goellers, more than caring for Lucas, they would also want to extend their care for Lauressa as she soon buries her daughter and go on with life without her.
"I have not doubt that Olivia was put her for a reason," says Lauressa. "I have no doubt that organ donation was her purpose in life to give back."
Photo: Global Panorama | Flickr