Hi, I’m thirteen years old and I was born with Biliary Atresia. I want to raise awareness of liver disease, so no more babies need to suffer from this disease.
“My liver disease isn’t a disease for me, it’s just me. I’m very positive and optimistic. I think of the glass as half full, I mean at least I still have a half a drink left.” Molly Clark
Molly was born December 30, 2009, and appeared to be a healthy baby. My husband and I were thrilled to have a gorgeous baby girl. Our little family’s hopes and dreams were coming true. But twenty-four hours after she was born, jaundice set in, and our happiness turned into worry. While jaundice is fairly normal in newborns and very treatable, Molly's jaundice was more serious and life-threatening. As her pediatrician checked her bilirubin every few hours, he took note that her liver was not processing and passing the bilirubin as it should. This discovery landed her in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and started the long ordeal of discovering what was wrong with her and how to save our precious baby girl.
Day after day, Molly underwent a series of antibiotics, blood draws, scans, and other testing, all the while her skin turned more yellow, she stopped gaining weight, became very agitated and her bowel movements turned white. You can imagine our fear as we were dealing with the unknown. We wanted our baby girl to come home and be healthy, but we were faced with the reality of her struggle, and we were on a mission to help find a diagnosis and treatment.
After weeks of tests, blood screening and liver biopsy, we finally received a diagnosis...Biliary Atresia. Shortly after diagnosis, our Molly underwent a surgery called a Kasai. No one could give us the comfort of promising that this surgery was going to help our little Molly, however we knew Molly was in great hands with surgeons who understood Biliary Atresia and the Kasai procedure very well. Molly’s Kasai procedure took almost eight hours, the longest eight hours of our life.
Miracles do happen. The surgery went well, Molly’s liver had little damage and her surgeon was able to find very healthy bile flow when doing the reconstruction. Just four days after surgery we were told we could take our baby home, because she was doing well. Our little fighter was doing her best to defeat her disease. Over the next few months Molly continued to flourish, her skin color gradually became a beautiful pink, she started gaining weight, and she stopped being agitated and began to smile. Her liver was working wonderfully.
Now, our Molly is a brave, kind, and animated twelve-year-old who is in sixth grade. She enjoys basketball, chess, piano, crafting, and an amazing student with straight As since Kindergarten. She is sweet and spicy, a talented speaker, and a champion in sharing her story and raising awareness for liver disease. Our family is thankful for the science that has saved her life and we do all we can to make sure other children don’t need to suffer with Biliary Atresia.