Miracle baby survives COVID-19, liver transplant before 1st birthday

Two months after his birth, baby Kasen was diagnosed with a rare liver disease

Mitayah Donerlson is beyond grateful now that her son is healing after a liver transplant and survived COVID-19. According to ABC News, Baby Kasen Donerlson, who is now being called a “miracle baby,” beat the odds all before his 1st birthday.

“All I could do was cry. They were mommy tears and tears of joy. I was just so happy,” said Kasen’s mother to Good Morning America. “I always knew he was going to get a transplant — that was my faith — but to finally get that call and get that message that the surgery was scheduled and to have that relief from the burden on my shoulders dropped, it felt so good.”

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Kasen was born healthy on Jan. 14, 2020, but his mother noticed he had breathing issues and jaundice. She expressed concerns to the doctor, who assured her he would grow out of it, but he didn’t.

After fighting for more testing, it was discovered a couple of months later that Kasen had a rare condition when the “bile ducts become inflamed and blocked soon after birth,” called biliary atresia, according to the American Liver Foundation.

Just a few days after his diagnosis, Kasen underwent an emergency procedure, but it was unsuccessful. His mother sought out a second option.

“We had endless hospital visits and we would be there for five or seven or 10 days because of the severity of the disease and the complications that Kasen was having,” Donerlson said. Baby Kasen was also placed on a feeding tube.

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Kasen was placed on the donor list at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for a new liver, but as the family waited, everyone, including Kasen, tested positive for COVID-19.

“On Nov. 21, he woke up that morning and was extremely hot. His body was like touching a stove,” said  Kasen’s mother. “I just cried because I knew the hospital was going to admit us, but I didn’t know they were going to tell us that he was COVID-positive.”

Luckily the family and the baby had no severe Covid-19 complications, and all pulled through. In December, she got the call that a liver was available, and the “miracle baby” underwent surgery without a hiccup.

Despite the painful journey, Kasen’s mom had faith and never lost hope that her baby boy would receive the transplant he needed.

“It’s been very, very stressful,” shared Donerlson. “But his recovery right now is going so sweet and so smooth that I can’t ask for anything more.”

She continues, “What I’m looking forward to is Kasen walking and talking. I’m so excited for him to get those skills and for my family to bond back together as we were before all the ups and downs and the hospital visits.”

Baby Kasen is now excelling and more alert than he was before the transplant. He turned one on Jan. 14.

In a sweet Facebook tribute, Donerlson wrote, “Words cant explain your Strength, Courage, and Determination. I am HONORED to be your Mother. Thank you for being my instructor. You’re my instructor to lessons that I could only learned from You. I Love You ❤ beyond measures… Keep showing the world ? the impossible Are Possible.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KASEN‼️

Kasen Donerlson celebrates his 1st birthday | Mitayah Donerlson’s Facebook

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