A little girl has defied all the odds and started her first day at school - after her parents were told she would not live longer than two years.
Tiffany Lothian, her sisters, brother and mother Dee, 36, walked into Oakwood Primary School on Wednesday (September 11) as a family after the four-year-old recovered from a life-threatening liver condition.
Biliary Atresia is a childhood disease of the liver where one or more bile ducts are abnormally narrow, blocked, or absent affecting the colour of Tiffany’s skin.
Dee and husband Wayne have spoken out after the recent Organ Donation Week which encourages people to sign up to donate their organs after their death.
The mother-of-four said, “This is a massive milestone for Tiff. We were told when she was born she would not pass the age of two and would be lucky to survive at all. Taking my daughter to her first day at school felt like a miracle.”
The family were told when Tiffany was six months old she would not survive without a liver transplant and were in and out of hospital for months.
Tiffany had to wait for the correct donor match, which would be another child at a specific weight and blood type.
Dee said, “We held onto so many different hopes in hospital. We were waiting for someone else’s child to die essentially which is extremely difficult. You go through lots of different emotions.”
However, Wayne’s niece, Fern was tested and confirmed as a correct match for Tiffany so the little girl received a part of her cousin’s liver in a transplant operation at King’s College Hospital when Tiffany was just seven months old.
Dee, a nurse in A&E at the DGH, said, “Families don’t think about their child dying before them. I didn’t before I had Tiffany. I can’t stress how life saving and life changing transplantation is. Please share your wishes about your organ donation decision with your loved ones.”