Recipient Family or Friend
At just three pounds and 32 weeks gestation, Elaina Reynolds, the two year-old daughter of Cody and Kellie Reynolds, came into the world full of life. During Kellie’s pregnancy, doctors were concerned about complications and in what all felt like a blur, she was diagnosed with preeclampsia and sent to OU Medical Center. Two days later, Kellie had an emergency C-section. At 32 weeks gestation and weighing just three pounds, Elaina was born.
Two weeks later, her family was devastated to learn that their tiny infant had a confirmed diagnosis of Biliary Atresia – a condition in which the bile ducts in the liver are scarred and blocked. The disease leads to an accumulation of bile, damage of liver cells and cirrhosis. The only cure for their three-pound baby is a liver transplant.
A few days after the diagnosis, Elaina underwent a surgery to help prolong the need for a liver transplant. She did well with the Kasai procedure, but months later dealt with infections which have led to several hospital stays and doctors’ visits.
In June of 2020, the Reynolds family met with a medical team for evaluation and testing for a transplant. Elaina needed to gain a little weight, and was given a feeding tube, IV fluids and specialized nutritional supplements to help her thrive. The Reynolds family experienced three dry runs before they received a call from their transplant coordinator on September 2nd, 2021 letting them know that they had found the perfect liver for Elaina.
On September 3, 2021 Elaina walked to the surgery holding area and the transplant team told us her new liver had just arrived and they were ready for surgery.
Elaina and her family want to thank her donor family and we hope someday we can thank you in-person. Elaina embodies the fierce warrior spirit that Chickasaws are known for and we honor our donor family everyday and appreciate the gift that Elaina received.