Linden infant in need of liver transplant

Linden infant in need of liver transplant (Image 1)

A seven-month-old boy from Linden, Tennessee is facing a rare liver disease and will need a transplant to live.

Levi Smith was born January 16.  A few weeks later, after doctors noted poor weight gain, Levi was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a disorder that affects about 1 in 20,000 babies.

“He's very small. He's below the one percentile, [he weighs] twelve and a half pounds, [and is] 24-inches long. He's smaller than your average seven month old,” mother Andrea Smith told Nashville's News 2.

She continued, “It feels like something out of a movie. You want to be there and support everyone else going through things like this, but you don't expect it to happen.”

To help stabilize him, Levi has had two operations at Nashville's Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt where doctors said a liver transplant is likely his only option.

“It's scary, it's very scary and hard,” Andrea said. “I think we are still learning to cope with it everyday because we don't know what the outcome is going to be.”

In six days, Levi and his family will travel to Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Ohio where doctors will further test Levi and place him on the organ donation registry if he is a valid candidate.

“We take it day by day.  At least he is here still with us. I'm just going to enjoy it while he is here and hopefully that's a long time,” said dad Shaun Smith.

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