30 kids on Texas Children's Hospital liver transplant list wishing for life-saving gift

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Monday, April 11, 2016
30 ill kids hoping for life-saving gift
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Thirty children are on Texas Children's Hospital's liver transplant waiting list, hoping someone gifts them a life-saving gift this holiday season.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It seems kids' holiday wish lists get longer and longer each year, but sometimes the best gift isn't the one under the tree.

At just two years old, little Anthony battled leukemia and won. Unfortunately, the chemo that cured him severely damaged his liver. Now 10 years old, Anthony is on the waiting list for a transplant.

"He has learning disabilities due to his liver. It creates ammonia. The ammonia goes to his brain. He's had episodes of not knowing his name," explains Patricia Sanchez, Anthony's mom.

She says she never knows when they'll get the call that a liver is available. They live in El Paso and have flown in twice before.

"It's very sad because you get your hopes so high and they end up saying it's not the right one. So you go back to square one," she says.

Pediatric Gastroenterologist Dr. Sanjiv Harpavat says there's currently a huge liver shortage. Texas Children's Hospital has more than 30 children on its waiting list alone. He encourages people to consider organ donation.

"You're really returning a child from being very sick in the hospital, flying all the way across the state to see us to a child that can return back to normal life. So it's a true, true life-saving gift," Dr. Harpavat says.

To register to be an organ donor, go the Texas Children's Hospital website.