The miracle that inspired
This tiny firecracker's remarkable strength,
incredible recovery and unbreakable spirit continues
to inspire a community of brave families.
Just a few months after her family celebrated the joy of bringing their new baby home, Hazel's parents' concern for her continued yellow-ish coloring was found to be an issue with her liver. After weeks of testing, Hazel was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a fatal liver disease where bile ducts are either abnormally narrow, blocked or absent. Hazel’s liver was not capable of filtering crucial nutrients through her body. At only 4 months old, and two liver biopsies later, Hazel’s doctors informed her family that a liver transplant was imminent.
Hazel Galbraith was born on October 05, 2012...
and was diagnosed with a fatal liver disease just 3 months later.
500 miles from daddy, family and home is where
mommy and Hazel would wait and pray.
Filled with fear but driven by hope, Hazel and mommy left their home in Tucson, AZ for the close-by care of physicians at the Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA in Los Angeles, California.
Despite the severity of her condition, Hazel and mommy found otherwise foreign feelings of comfort in the care of the wonderful medical staff at the Mattel Children's Hospital and the console and warmth at the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House. Hazel thrived amongst a community of families, volunteers and medical staff who would become lifelong lifelines of friendship and support.
A SPECIAL GIFT
Her final breath expected at any time, Hazel and her family's prayers
were finally answered.
After multiple failed efforts, Hazel was gifted life by a special little donor whose parents made the inconceivable decision to give life to others by way of their own loss. On its way to Los Angeles, this little liver was described by her doctors as a “perfect fit”; precisely matching Hazel’s size, blood type and genetic needs. As if it was intended for her. It was nothing short of the miracle her family hoped for and precisely what she needed.
After a successful surgery and an incredibly fast recovery,
Hazel was released from the hospital.
Although she had to stay at the close by Ronald McDonald House before moving back home to Tucson, AZ, Hazel’s life completely turned around with her new liver. Her orange colored complexion immediately started to improve and her precious little tears were crying clear rather than the yellow hue they turned with her failed liver. Despite the treacherous road she and her parents had traveled to get her well, Hazel was thriving! She was finally well, recovering like a champion.
HOME & WELL
At 10-months old, well and recovering like a champion,
Hazel finally returned home.
The prior year had been consumed by focusing solely on what was needed to save Hazel's life. It did not allow time or energy to plan her homecoming and new beginning. And yet, thanks to the vision of Hazel’s Aunt B, a special space was being planned for her. Soon she would have a beautiful and comforting room to call her own.
It was like we finally had
permission to breathe normally."
Veronica Galbraith, Hazel's mommy
Everything in Hazel’s new room—from the paper butterflies to the chalk wall, her rocking chair, and the special toy chest hand crafted by her Poppy—represents the love, family, and strength that surrounds Hazel.
As Wellcome Home Kids continues to gain support and develop vital partnerships, we are working to realize our true ambition: To welcome recovering children home by providing a comfortable and creative space where they can start a beautiful new life. You can join us in supporting these inspirational families and brave children.
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