The bond between a father and his daughter is often described as one that lasts forever and one Illinois dad just made his bond even stronger by doing the almost-impossible to save his daughter’s life.
via ABC News
Of all the reasons to lose weight, saving the life of your child is possibly the best motivation ever. It was the reason Bridgeport, Ill., resident Eduardo Camargo said he dropped more than 40 pounds in less than two months.
Camargo’s baby girl, Jazlyn, was diagnosed with biliary atresia right after she was born in April of 2012, a condition that occurs when the liver’s bile duct is blocked or absent. Without surgery, it can lead to liver failure and death.
Jazlyn had two surgeries to prevent liver failure, but her condition continued to worsen. When she was just 5 months old, doctors at North Western Memorial Hospital in Chicago told the family a liver transplant would be necessary to save their baby’s life.
“Right away I said it had to be me and not my wife,” Camargo said. “I have two other daughters and they need a mother more than they need a father.”
But the doctors told Camargo he couldn’t become a donor unless he lost weight. At 210 pounds, the 35-year-old was diagnosed with fatty liver disease. A common condition in people who are overweight or obese, the disease is characterized by an unhealthy buildup of fat tissue in the liver.
“We use no more than 10 percent fat tissue in the liver as our cutoff for donors and unfortunately the father was certainly higher than that,” explained Dr. Talia Baker, a liver transplant specialist and the director of the Adult Living Donor Liver Transplant Program at North Western Memorial Hospital.
Camargo said he has always struggled with weight loss in the past but he was determined to save his daughter. So, even though he hadn’t worked out since high school, he joined a gym in the neighborhood and began running on the treadmill every other day before work. He started eating more vegetables, watching his portions, and drank nothing but water.
In November of last year, Camargo learned that his efforts paid off. In a little less than two months, he had slimmed down to 180 pounds and lowered the percentage of fat in his liver to below 2 percent.
The transplant was a go. And not a moment too soon.
The day before Jazlyn’s scheduled surgery, her liver began to fail. Baker said it was clear that child would die without immediate treatment.
The next day, Camargo underwent surgery to remove about a third of his liver, Baker said. The tissue was then put on ice and walked across the street to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago where a team of doctors was waiting to transplant it into Jazlyn.
Both surgeries were a resounding success, Baker said. Not only was Jazlyn saved, she expects her father will suffer no ill effects
Such a beautiful story. Good to know there’s still great parents left in the world among all the crazy stories we hear about everyday.