A MOTHER saved her baby’s life by giving her a new liver.
Anisa Ashraf became a live organ donor for daughter Rumaysah Mazhar, who had developed a rare liver disease within days of her birth. The operation meant putting part of Anisa’s liver into baby Rumaysah.
Mother-of-three Mrs Ashraf said: “I felt I had to do it, but as the time got closer it was a bit scary. You start to think about the other children and what would happen if something went wrong.”
Now the family is supporting the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, which holds its Big Yellow Friday fundraiser today.
Rumaysah was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a condition which affects around 50 babies a year and, if left untreated, can be fatal. She was just 11 days old when she had an operation to try to treat the condition.
Mrs Ashraf, 33, said: “It works for about 60 per cent of patients. It was quite soon after that we realised it hadn’t worked. By three months, she was on the waiting list for a transplant.
“She was quite poorly by then. She wasn’t growing, her eyes were yellow, she had no energy. The doctors said one of us could be a live donor, just in case a liver didn’t come through.”
On June 3 2010, the transplant went ahead with Mrs Ashraf at St James’ Hospital in Leeds and Rumaysah at Leeds General Infirmary.
Three weeks later, Mrs Ashraf and Rumaysah, now 18 months old, were both back home in Oxford Road, Dewsbury.
“After the operation she had more energy, she was sitting up. It was a massive difference,” said Mrs Ashraf.
“She’s doing things that normal kids do.”
And on March 18, big sister Haniya, 11, and brother Aasim, nine, will join classmates at Carlton Junior and Infant School for a Big Yellow Friday and Comic Relief fundraiser.
Deputy headteacher Rizwana Ahmed said: “Haniya talked about her sister’s operation in assembly and asked if she could raise money for the liver disease foundation. It’s really touching for a child to come and approach the school herself. It’s inspired us.”