Brian Munn, Liver Donor: Dad Saves Baby Son, Story Goes Viral
A dad named Brian Munn donated part of his liver to save his son and the story has melted hearts all over the world. Caleb Munn, nine months old, was born with biliary atresia (BA) and to save his life, Brian Munn gave his baby a quarter of his liver.
It will be a very special first Father’s Day (with his new child) for Brian Munn, who recently donated part of his liver to his baby boy, Caleb Munn.
In September 2014, when little Caleb Munn was born in a New York hospital, his parents were over the moon, but their joy rapidly turned into headache and fear.
Brittany Munn, Caleb’s mother, knew that something was wrong with her son. At three months, he appeared yellow, jaundiced, super skinny, passed gray or white stools, had dark urine, slow weight gain and growth.
Brittany Munn visited several doctors to eventually learn that her baby had the life-threatening condition known as Biliary atresia: Biliary atresia:
“Biliary atresia is a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts that occurs in infants. Symptoms of the disease appear or develop about two to eight weeks after birth. Cells within the liver produce liquid called bile. Bile helps to digest fat. It also carries waste products from the liver to the intestines for excretion.”
The experts went on to say:
When a baby has biliary atresia, bile flow from the liver to the gallbladder is blocked. This causes the bile to be trapped inside the liver, quickly causing damage and scarring of the liver cells (cirrhosis), and eventually liver failure.
The Munn family knew that their son needed an immediate liver transplant in order to survive, so they reached out to the community looking for donors. And applications came pouring in, but there were no matches. Despite having the same blood type as her son, Brittany Munn, who was not yet six months postpartum, was not allowed to be a donor.
Brian Munn had a different blood type from Caleb’s and assumed that he could not submit an application. In late March, all of that changed when Caleb fell terribly ill after the Kasei procedure, which “replaces the blocked bile ducts with the baby’s own intestine to act like a new duct” failed.
Doctors at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Transplantation had a Eureka moment and asked Brian Munn why didn’t he apply to be his son’s donor? Mrs. Munn explained:
“I’ve always heard that you can’t mix [different] blood types because all these issues arise, but for them to say… it’s really not a big deal because he wasn’t over 1 year of age, it took a bit to retrain my mind.”
On March 20, after dozens of tests, the duo underwent surgery with Brian donating about a quarter of his liver. Brian Munn recovered easily, but Caleb Munn had to undergo multiple surgeries in the days that followed and was finally sent home on April 13.
According to his mother, the little boy is doing great and has to take immunosuppressant medication his whole life.
Brian Munn said that he is simply thrilled to have matching scars with his baby and is happy to spend a quiet Father’s Day with his children – Caleb, Noah, 4, and Elise, 2 – and Brittany Munn agrees.
What do you think of this miracle?