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Baby gets new liver

Staff Writer

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  Reagan Devlin
Contributed Photo

Baby Reagan Devlin spent most of Thursday in surgery receiving a new liver.

The operation comes two days after doctors in Boston diagnosed her with neonatal hemochromatosis, or severe liver failure. Her family is ecstatic that she got a new organ so quickly after she was diagnosed.

"It's outstanding for them to find one that fast," Madeline Palmer, Reagan's grandmother said Thursday. "When I found out, I said a prayer for Reagan and said a prayer for the person who donated it."

Doctors found the new liver early Thursday morning and Reagan went into the 9-hour surgery at 7:45 a.m. and got out at 5 p.m. Palmer said the baby is in stable condition.

"The baby is fine," Palmer said after the surgery.

Donations may be made in Teresa or Reagan Devlin's name to Prosperity Bank account number 7027496808.

Doctors at Wolfson's Childrens Hospital in Jacksonville diagnosed Reagan two weeks ago with patent ductus venosus, a rare liver condition that causes blood to flow on top of the liver instead of through it.

Reagan and her parents, Bryan and Teresa Devlin of northwest St. Johns County, flew last weekend to Boston for treatment at the Boston Childrens Hospital.

Doctors there conducted further tests on Reagan and discovered she had severe liver failure. They then placed her at the top of the transplant list.

"It's been a nightmare," Palmer said. "Hopefully this is the beginning of a new beginning."

Doctors have not given specific information on Reagan's recovery, but said it could take up to six months.

"We just want to get her through the surgery and stabilized," Palmer said.

Palmer said the transplant has eased the family's worries, but they remain cautious.

"We're still on edge."

Reagan wouldn't have lived without a new liver, Palmer said, and she's thankful her granddaughter now has a chance.

"Our hearts go out to the person who donated this," Palmer said. "They've done a wonderful thing for our family."