Rare disease puts one-year-old in hospital before Christmas

Rare disease puts one-year-old in hospital before Christmas.PNG

SAN ANTONIO- A rare liver disease is threatening the life of a local one-year-old. The disease has kept Leia Garcia from celebrating Christmas at home.

“There was 3 or 4 times that we thought in a span of two months that she wasn't going to make it at all,” said Arsenio Garcia, Leia’s father.

Little Leia is in the hospital just days before Christmas. She's fighting to survive biliary atresia, a rare liver disease that affects children.

“This disease is so horrible that it really just attacks her whole body,” said Naomi Chacon, Leia’s mother.

Doctors diagnosed her condition shortly after Leia was born. They even performed a critical lifesaving surgery.

Her mother Naomi said things were going well for a while until two months ago.

“Up at around 10 months was when we had the biggest problem,” Chacon said.

Leia woke up one morning throwing up large amounts of blood.

“She had in her throat because her liver wasn't working right it affected these veins in her throat and they would bust,” Chacon said.

Leia was rushed to University Hospital where doctors immediately gave her a breathing tube.

“She lost so much blood that she almost died from it,” Chacon said.

Doctors discovered Leia's liver was failing quickly and her overall health was also getting worse. Her father Arsenio Garcia said doctor's had to revive Leia several times.

“Having that phone call several days in a row it kind of eats at you a little bit to where you don't know what's going to happen the next day and you don't even know if you want to be there when that happens,” Garcia said

Leia received a liver transplant but just recently her arteries started closing up and she had to go through another emergency surgery. Even though it's not likely Leia will be home for Christmas, her parents are holding onto to the little signs that she's getting better.

“We ask for a lot for her to be home by Christmas because we want that Christmas miracle but just having her here and alive being able to interact is definitely enough for us,” Garcia said.

You can help Leia out by clicking here.

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