At 10:15 on the morning of December 13, five-month-old Daniel McCabe was put on the waiting list for a liver transplant as doctors have determined that the rare liver disorder he has been fighting since birth was getting worse. While the family was prepared to wait weeks and even months while waiting for a match, they were in for a surprise when at 10:55, forty minutes after he was placed on the list, a match for Daniel McCabe was found.
According to USA Today, Daniel is from Waukesha, Wisconsin. He was born with the rare disease, biliary atresia, and his condition got so bad that his doctors at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago had put him on the transplant list. While the United Network of Organ Sharing says that the average waiting time for kids in the waiting list is 86 days. In the last five years, only 43 (including Daniel) have found a match in less than forty minutes after being put on the list.
Ricardo Superina, the surgeon who performed the transplant on Daniel, says they were actually prepared to wait several months until they could get a match for the infant. In fact, they were actually considering to test if either of Daniel's parents could be a match for their child. He says that things turning out like this were one in a million.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, it was the morning of December 14 when two surgeons went to Milwaukee to get the liver from the donor. Not much is known about how the donor died as the law prevents it, but the site says it was a man in his 30s who was brain dead. By 4 p.m., the liver was brought to Lurie, and the surgery on Daniel McCabe started at 8 p.m.
As Dr. Superina began the surgery, Daniel's disease had gotten so dire that his skin had turned yellow due to his liver not working properly. The surgery, which lasted about eight hours, was reportedly successful and Daniel is recuperating.
Daniel's parents, Joseph and Melody McCabe are just grateful to receive what they call "the greatest gift we could ever receive." Melody recalls being so speechless once Jeffrey Brown, her son's doctor came to the room and announced that they have a liver. While she felt sad for the loss of the donor family, she was grateful that her son would be receiving a liver soon as he was so sick already.
Joe McCabe, who received his wife's call regarding the match while on a business meeting, says that it was all due to divine intervention as they have a lot of prayer warriors praying for Daniel.