Mum's pledge to save daughter's life

By James HoreA MOTHER has pledged to give half her liver to save her seriously ill baby daughter who is suffering from a rare disease. When Amy Hood was born, her bile duct had not formed properly and she has never been able to get proper nourishment from food.

By James Hore

A MOTHER has pledged to give half her liver to save her seriously ill baby daughter who is suffering from a rare disease.

When Amy Hood was born, her bile duct had not formed properly and she has never been able to get proper nourishment from food.

Now nine months old, she has to endure being fed through a tube every few hours and faces a daily concoction of different medicines.


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Doctors have warned Amy may not live beyond a few years without a liver transplant and her parents Nick Hood and Vicky Connal are desperate for the phone call to say a life-saving donor has been found

Amy is currently second on a waiting list at King's College Hospital in London, but her parents have been told it could be a year before a transplant could be carried out.

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Mrs Connal said: “Preferably the liver would come from a baby because Amy is so small, but if the worst comes to the worst and there is not a lot of time, I will give her half of my liver.

“In the next couple of months I will be having lots of tests, but it's only if she becomes so ill and there is nothing else do to. I would do it straight away - if she was going to die, I would not hesitate.”

The couple, from Springfield, near Chelmsford, have been told amy would be able to live a relatively normal life if she had a transplant from another baby.

Amy's condition, biliary atresia, affects about 50 newborn babies in England every year and has left her with a severe vitamin D deficiency, meaning her bones can easily break.

With her sisters Megan, four, and Sophie, two, always wanting to play, it can be hard for them to understand Amy's condition.

When Mrs Connal was pregnant, a scan at 21 weeks revealed a “bright spot”, so her baby was tested for cystic fibrosis and Down's syndrome, and was given the all-clear.

If the rare disease had been picked up on the scan, Mrs Connal would have faced the option of a termination, a decision that she was “really glad” never to have had to make.

“What that child goes through every day and yet she is so happy - all she does is smile at everyone. She is a gorgeous little happy girl,” she said.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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