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11-year-old who received liver transplant celebrates National Donor Day

Posted at 1:15 PM, Feb 18, 2022

DENVER - When 11-year-old Emi was placed on the liver transplant list in August of 2021, it looked like she could be sitting there for a while.

Thankfully, a family friend offered to donate and emerged as a perfect match.

She got the donation in October and was back in school six weeks later.

Dr. Megan Adams, a doctor in the division of transplant surgery at Children's Hospital Colorado said there are advantages of receiving from a living donor as opposed to a deceased one.

"A living donor is a great option to transplant patients sooner," Adams said. "The outcomes are much better with a living donor because you don't have to be so sick to obtain the organ."

Adams said when an adult donates their "liver" to a child, it is only a small chunk of it. That portion actually regenerates, and then the child can grow a full one as well.

In an interview with Denver7, Emi said she was "really excited" when she learned she was able to receive a liver donation from her family friend. Her mother said the lifechanging decision is "what life is all about, about giving and not thinking about getting anything back."