NEWS

Winnipeg girl recovering after liver transplant, family friend says

06/02/2015 07:46 EDT | Updated 06/02/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - A Winnipeg girl who underwent liver transplant surgery in Toronto after her family issued a public plea for a donor is now recovering in hospital, a family friend said.

Tina Lussier said she had been on tenterhooks since the surgery began around 7 a.m. Monday, and was thrilled to hear Tuesday morning that it had gone well.

"We waited up last night and by 6 p.m., we were expecting to hear something — and nothing. And we were starting to get really terrified," she said.

"I didn't sleep well last night and I'm so relieved."

Eleven-year-old Allexis Siebrecht, who was born with a rare liver disease, was told late Saturday night that a liver was available from a deceased donor.

An air ambulance then flew her to Toronto, at which point she was admitted to the Hospital for Sick Children.

Allexis was diagnosed when she was a baby with biliary atresia, which impedes bile transport from the liver to the small intestine.

Her mother, Liz Siebrecht, had appealed for a donor in March after learning her daughter needed a transplant within three to six months.

Lussier said Siebrecht, who is at the hospital with her daughter, is "exhausted."

"Liz is a single mom with three kids, so her other children will be joining her in Toronto tomorrow ... so a lot of expense, a lot of stress," she said.

Fundraising efforts continue to help support Allexis and her family, Lussier said, noting that while some $17,000 had been raised so far, more would be needed to help the family, who might have to stay in Toronto for up to six months after Allexis's surgery.

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Allexis's fundraising page: http://www.gofundme.com/fcmk3c

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