Toddler needed liver transplant after parents noticed she looked ‘a bit yellow’
The shocked parents discovered their daughter’s liver had failed even though she was previously “fit and healthy”. She was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital in an ambulance
Image: ITV News)
A toddler was discovered to have hepatitis after her concerned parents noticed she had turned yellow.
Natasha and Alisdair Castle-Smith watched their “perfectly fit and healthy child” fall seriously ill when her liver began to fail.
Now they want to comment on this strange symptom in hopes other parents will be better prepared.
Two-year-old Fiadh, from Belfast, was taken to the emergency department in Dundonald in early April after her parents noticed the child’s skin and the whites of her eyes were yellow, reports have reported BelfastLive.
“Fiadh has never had a history, she is a perfectly fit and healthy child,” said Natasha.
“On the Monday before all this happened, she slept in a bit longer and skipped her food a bit. When she woke up from her nap I had noticed that she looked a bit yellow, but thought it might just have been the lighting in the room.
“I had gone to work on Friday and had a text from my mum that the whites of her eyes had turned yellow, so that afternoon my husband took her to the GP who checked on Fiadh and made sure she was fine. He had told us to call her office if we had any further concerns.
“On Saturday she was still fine but was yellow so we called 911 and were told to go to the ER to have blood work done. Fiadh’s ASTs, one of her liver function tests, numbered in the thousands.
“She was taken in from there and at the time the counselor had told us that there were some cases of hepatitis on the mainland and that we would be careful because that might be what Fiadh has.
“Wednesday came and Fiadh became more and more uncomfortable. We were then transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, although they were the team that liaised with the doctors back home, so Mittelmann really.”
Fiadh, Natasha and Alisdair were air ambulanced to Birmingham and things just got worse for the toddler from there.
They spent days conducting tests on the first day, Thursday, and two days later, Fiadh was put on the urgent liver transplant list late Saturday night.
Alisdair explained that waiting for him and his wife was an extremely difficult time for them.
He said: “Every time a children’s TV show ended, we hoped we’d get that call, and then we did.
“Fiadh was transplanted on Tuesday and they said it would take around six to eight hours but it took six hours in total. After the transplant, she was in intensive care for four days before being transferred to the ward.”
The brave toddler recovered well from her major surgery and was allowed to go home after a few weeks.
And while Fiadh will now be on medication for the rest of her life, it’s hoped she can lead as normal a life as possible.
“Fiadh has totally recovered since he got home,” added Natasha.
“When she came home she was playing with her toys and it’s like a rehab for Fiadh because she’s very tired after playing. She was up there forever just playing away.
“We came home on Thursday and on Saturday my niece came over and they just played in the garden. It was good for the soul to see her smile again.
“By doing this and speaking our minds, we want to raise awareness about hepatitis and the symptoms associated with it – we don’t want this to happen to another child.
“It also gives hope to other people who may be going through this. Fiadh is that hope. She is a miracle.”
dr Jane Hartley, a consultant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, narrated ITV News that Fiadh now needs to be monitored to make sure her new liver is working well.
“It’s very difficult for the families,” added Dr. Hartley added.
“These are really very healthy kids who don’t have any diseases before they develop this jaundice.”
The NHS has advised parents to contact their GP if their children develop symptoms similar to Fiadh.
A spokesman said: “The number of cases of hepatitis in children has recently increased. Doctors and public health scientists are studying what could be causing this.
“See a family doctor if your child has symptoms of hepatitis, including yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice).”
Short-term or acute hepatitis often has no noticeable symptoms, so you may not realize you have it, health officials have warned.
If symptoms develop, they may include:
- muscle and joint pain
- A high temperature
- Feeling and being sick
- Feeling unusually tired all the time
- General malaise
- loss of appetite
- stomach pain
- Dark urine
- Pale grey-colored feces
- itchy skin
- yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
See your GP if you have persistent or bothersome symptoms that you think may be caused by hepatitis.
For more information on organ donation or to be included in the organ donation register, please click here.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/toddler-needed-liver-transplant-after-27068846 Toddler needed liver transplant after parents noticed she looked 'a bit yellow'