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Girl Has Rare Quadruple Organ Transplant; Mom Bonds with Donor Family

The Short of It

A young girl from Pittsburgh who underwent a rare quadruple organ transplant is in stable condition and recovering. Now her mom is corresponding with the mother of the child who donated her organs.

The Lowdown

Kyree Beachem was born with Hirschsprung's disease, in which nerve cells are missing in a baby's colon. And she had been waiting for a multi-organ transplant for more than five years.

Now the 8-year-old is recovering from the Nov. 25 surgery at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, during which she received four different organs—a liver, pancreas, and small and large intestines.

"Kyree received her liver, pancreas, intestine and colon transplant and is in stable condition in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital recovering," said George Mazariegos, chief of pediatric transplantation at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The surgery took about 10 hours. And according to Kyree's mom Nan, recovery will be extensive and numerous future procedures will be required.

"We're taking it right now literally hour by hour," she said. "Every kid heals differently. She's got a long road ahead of her."

Over the weekend, one of Kyree's lungs collapsed, but Nan said it hasn't gotten her down. "We knew that we were going to have hurdles in this journey," she wrote on Facebook. "But I know with Kyree's will, and her angel watching over her, we've got this."

Nan initially set up the Kyree's Dream Team Facebook page in order to draw attention to her daughter's plight and encourage more people to donate organs. It now has close to 25,000 followers. One of her most recent posts featured a picture of Kyree giving the thumbs-up sign from her hospital bed.

"Kyree is continuing to rest and heal," she wrote. "The lungs are improving and the vent/oxygen settings are slowly being cut back. Tomorrow she will have another scope and biopsy done to check for rejection... Emotionally, she is struggling right now and I totally feel it's justified... But there is a much bigger picture here, and so many memories to make. If you aren't an organ donor, please stop and think. #‎gosteelers‬ [sic]"

The Upshot

Meanwhile, in Lancaster, Penn., the donor's family is grieving the death of their 5-year-old daughter, Arianna Morales, from complications due to lobar holoprosencephaly, a condition that keeps the brain from fully developing. After hearing about Kyree on CNN, Arianna's mom, Evelyn, reached out to Nan. The two are now Facebook friends and have shared encouraging messages.

"Arianna, we know that she was a miracle to begin with and that she had a purpose," Evelyn said. "To know that her purpose was not just touching the lives that we can see here, but now she is going to allow other people to live and maybe their future generations to come. ... It is just nice to know that Arianna is still making a difference in the world."

"I can see this little girl that saved my daughter," added Nan, who saw videos and pictures of Arianna. "To me, it is what I would want. It's to know the person who is a part of Kyree. I think, actually, I am helping the donor's mom and she is helping me as well. It is just a very strong connection."

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