One Mid-South family thankful for the gift of life - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

One Mid-South family thankful for the gift of life

By Joe Birch - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Mid-South family received an early Christmas gift this month that they said they will cherish forever.

Art adorns LeBonheur Children's Hospital.  Inside one room, pages from a coloring book hang where a long-haired, brown-eyed beauty can see her handiwork.

"Every day, people call her our miracle child, because she has come this far," said Mia Grace's mother, Bridgett.

Mia Grace was born without a bladder.  Her parents, Bridgett and Joshua, have learned the art of living with a child who has endured one operation after another.

"I'm just excited she got a donor who would give her a kidney," said Joshua.  "I appreciate that very much."

Mia Grace's kidney function fell to 20 percent this summer.  She needed a kidney transplant.

"It's very difficult to find donors for these small children," said transplant surgeon Dr. James Eason.

Eason devotes his life to the art of transplanting organs, even mastering the technical challenges of placing an adult kidney into a small child.

"In this case, we were very lucky," said Eason.  "Mia Grace was very fortunate to have a friend of the family who was very close to them and willing to donate a kidney."

Bridgett said one of her co-workers heard of Mia Grace's need and offered to undergo testing to see if her kidney would be a match.

"It was overwhelming," said Bridgett.  "Just to know someone that's not your own kin would step out on a leap of faith and say, I want to do this for your child.  I'm willing to put myself in danger just so your child can have life."

"She's had a successful kidney transplant that will keep her off dialysis," said Eason.  "She should be able to grow up and live a normal life like any other child."

Mia Grace is a portrait of perseverance.  In her parents' eyes, she is a masterpiece.

"I see my angel," said Joshua.  "My beautiful daughter is what I see."

Mia Grace will go home to Nettleton, Mississippi to celebrate Christmas.

The Mid-South Transplant Foundation said there are many more people in need of a transplant than donors.  If you would like to consider becoming a donor, click here.

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