Saving Baby Nathan: Mokena infant undergoes liver transplant

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Baby Nathan. Photo credit: Saving Baby Nathan Facebook page

CHICAGO — Baby Nathan of Mokena, Ill.,  finally got the liver transplant he needed. After weeks of waiting for a match, he had the surgery on Monday.

Baby Nathan was born on March 5 with jaundice. A few weeks after his birth, Nathan’s mother knew something more than jaundice was wrong. Her intuition proved right, and doctors at Lurie Children’s Hospital diagnosed Nathan with a rare liver disease.

“It was very scary. It’s heartbreaking to see your child so sick,” Nathan’s mother Christina Whitehead told the Daily Southtown. “Nothing about his life has been normal so far.”

More than 11,000 people on Facebook have been pulling for the infant after his parent’s created a fan page to share Nathan’s progress.

As his condition worsened, social media pulled together to bring attention to Nathan’s needs. He was at the top of the donor list and hundreds of people offered to help with a piece of their liver, but the process to match slow.

The good news came Sunday night: a liver segment, culled from a deceased donor, was available.  After several hours of surgery Monday he began the recovery.

There is more recovery ahead for Baby Nathan. A Facebook post Tuesday morning indicated that he is heading back into surgery.

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