Family of sick 8-month-old girl pleading for liver donor

WATCH ABOVE: Ontario family pleads for liver donor to save infant daughter

TORONTO — She’s only eight months old but little Delfina Budziak is fighting a deadly battle.

Delfina needs a new liver, and she won’t survive without one. Her family is appealing for a living donor to come forward.

Delfina, from Vaughan, Ont., was diagnosed at two months old with biliary atresia. Accoding to the Canadian Liver Foundation, the “relatively rare disease” occurs when the bile duct outside the liver that carries bile from the liver to the small intestine is damaged. As the bile accumulates in the liver it causes progressive damage to the tissue. It also damages smaller bile ducts inside the liver.

Bile is a liquid made by the liver that helps digest food.

“Unless bile flow can be established, liver function is gradually lost and affected children rarely survive beyond two years.”

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Since being diagnosed, Delfina has undergone a surgical procedure and has gone through several bouts of cholangitis, an infection of the liver. On April 26 another bout of cholangitis landed her at the Hospital for Sick Children, where she’s been ever since. She’s not leaving the hospital without a new liver.

“While Delfina is on the transplant wait-list for a deceased donor, she is currently stabilized by hospitalization and medication, and as such is not at the top of the list,” says a post on the family’s Facebook page, Delfina Needs a Liver.

A number of family members have been tested but are not a suitable match to be Delfina’s donor.

READ MORE: Eugene Melnyk’s public appeal could spur organ donation

Family and friends have taken to social media for help. They’ve tweeted at politicians like Toronto Mayor John Tory and MPP Steven Del Duca, journalists and media groups, and even sports teams to get the world out.

The family said it got the idea after seeing the swift response to Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk’s public appeal for a live donor.

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READ MORE: Eugene Melnyk undergoes successful transplant

The family asked the Senators to tweet out their support, and the NHL team was happy to help.

“Defina’s donor must be blood type O+. Anyone who is interested in donating to save Delfina’s life can learn more about living donors through the University Health Network, Living Donor Program.”

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