06/02/2015 07:46 EDT | Updated 06/02/2016 05:59 EDT

Winnipeg girl recovering after liver transplant, family friend says

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.


Allexis's fundraising page: