WINTERVILLE, NC. (WNCT) — Elijah Smith of Winterville was diagnosed with biliary atresia at birth. The disease caused major damage to his liver, and the 2-year-old is now in need of a liver transplant.
One in 30,000 babies is born with biliary atresia in the United States. The condition blocks bile from moving to the small intestine, causing build-up in the liver that permanently damages the organ, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
“When we got this diagnosis, I had one day before my whole world was changed,” said Elijah’s mother, Makala Smith. “The first day he was born, was the only day I lived thinking I was going to have a normal life.”
Smith partnered with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association to establish a fundraiser to help cover the costs of a transplant. The major issue of Elijah’s liver is that it is leaking fluid.
“Once your liver starts doing that, you’re at a point of no return,” Smith said. “You can’t heal it, you can’t fix it. He’s taking five [different] medications, every day.
“If he didn’t get the transplant, he would have no other way to survive. He has sorosis and fibrosis all over his liver, it’s at a point to where he would just get worse.”
Smith hopes that she will be a match as a live donor for Elijah, as they share the same blood type.
“It’s not a second thought for me, if my son needs it, he can have it,” Smith said.
Smith is asking the community to donate anything they can to help fund Elijah’s procedure and noted that anything helps. She is also hoping to get the attention of Greenville native MrBeast and is hopeful that he could help her with his philanthropic efforts.
If you are interested in donating to Elijah’s fundraiser, click here.