Local baby in need of an organ donor
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Family and friends are organizing a poker tournament to help raise money for a four-month-old baby girl in need of a new liver.
"She's been through more than both of us in her short life," Donald McCarthy, Emma McCarthy's father said.
Donald and his wife, Cortney McCarthy, are facing the roughest times of being a parent. "It's hard," Cortney said. "It's a lot of crying, it's a lot of anger because you don't want it to happen to your own."
While pregnant with Emma, Cortney's doctor found the placenta to be abnormal and discussed the possibility of a genetic syndrome. Due to utero complications, Emma was born seven weeks premature.
Emma surprised everyone with her growth and strength, and was able to go home after two weeks. A cyst was discovered on her liver, but doctors believed it was nothing more than that. Surgery was scheduled for the beginning of July and everyone remained optimistic.
Unfortunately, the cyst was found to be a malignant tumor and further screening led to an additional tumor. Emma was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma, cancer of the liver.
Emma has already undergone three major surgeries. The first, just weeks after she was born, required an incision the width of her stomach. The surgery produced much discomfort for her during recovery and required morphine.
"That's when it came back that it was cancer," Donald said.
A second surgery led to cardiac arrest during the operation and required multiple emergency blood transfusions during recovery.
Emma's parents are now staying and living by her side at Holtz Children's Hospital. When absolutely necessary, Donald only leaves for work and to check on their house.
"We've had a lot of support as far as prayers, as far as being there for us," Cortney said. "We have family members that come and give us dinner every night."
Emma is currently in Intensive care unit. Her and her parents are now waiting. "So now her liver is not functioning properly," Donald said. "They found that the proper treatment for this is a transplant."
Emma is at the top of a waiting list, joined by her parents praying. "We have a lot of people praying for her," Cortney said. "I think that's why she's getting so strong right now, she's able to get through it."
The McCarthy's organized a poker run to help raise money, which sold out in a matter of days.
A website has been set up for those looking to help and donate to Emma.
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