“It was really, really obvious on his baptism,” said Jill. “He was wearing white, so the jaundice was really showing, and the yellowish tint of his eyes was a lot more obvious.”
In most cases of biliary atresia, the only chance for survival is a liver transplant. After meeting with specialists at the Miami Transplant Institute, however, his parents were faced with another setback—this type of surgery had only ever been performed on babies weighing at least 13 pounds.
“Michael Angelo came to us at only 8 pounds, and if we can, we really like to wait until an infant is 13 or 14 pounds to be able to transplant them,” said Dr. Jennifer Garcia, medical director of pediatric transplant services at the Miami Transplant Institute. “Michael did not give us that opportunity. He was just too sick.”
Michael Angelo’s only chance for survival was a liver transplant, but his very small size presented a new challenge for surgeons.