With A Piece of Her Liver, a Mother Saves Her Child from a Slow Death

Alyssa Smith of Schertz, Texas, is a radiant and mischievous three-year-old who smears her mommy's makeup and cheerfully taunts her older brother Ricky. Her parents, Teresa and John Smith, made medical history to give her the liveliness she enjoys.

Alyssa was born with biliary atresia, a condition that leads to liver failure. When a national waiting list produced no suitable donors, doctors asked if one of her parents would become America's first living liver donor. A healthy person can lose up to 75% of a liver and survive: within weeks the organ will fully regenerate. Both were willing; Teresa's liver proved...

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