The Moores family welcomed a 3rd child, a beautiful baby girl named Ella-Marie into the world on June 8th, 2015. She came home from the hospital on June 9th with a clean bill of health, but at 6 weeks the slight yellow tinge in her eyes had become much more apparent in her skin as well. On July 20th, 2015 she was brought into to the family’s local children’s outpatient clinic, a doctor informed the family that the yellowing of her skin and eyes was not common neonatal jaundice. Something was very wrong. Ella was admitted to Kingston General Hospital Pediatric floor that afternoon. Ella-Marie spent 3 days at the hospital before being sent to Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario July 23rd, 2015.
After several days of tests, three hours in surgery, and a cholangiogram Ella-Marie was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia. Biliary Atresia is a rare liver disease 1 in 18-20,000 babies are born with. This disease affects the bile ducts inside the liver or outside the liver, in some cases can affect both, and in Ella-Marie’s case, the bile ducts outside the liver were completely absent. That same day a Kasai procedure was performed on Ella-Marie to help restore bile flow from the liver to the small intestine. Ella-Marie’s eight-hour Kasai was performed on July 31st, the same day of diagnosis. Ella-Marie was discharged on August 12th from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. After two short days at home from the hospital, she became ill and was admitted back to Kingston General Hospital pediatric floor, and was then flown to SickKids Hospital in Toronto.
Ella-Marie was hospitalized twice to be treated for cholangitis, a common infection after the Kasai procedure, where she was treated in hospital with IV antibiotics. During the last few days of her antibiotics, it became clear that Ella-Marie had fallen into the 50% of children with Kasai to require a transplant before the age of one. On September 17th, Ella-Marie was listed for a liver transplant. Ashley Moores, Ella-Marie’s mom began testing right away to be a living donor even though she had 3 other children at home to care for. Devastatingly after weeks of testing the family was made aware that Ashley was not eligible to become Ella-Marie’s living donor. Fortunately, the family received a call from the hospital at 12:40 am on November 2, 2015, that a deceased donor had donated the liver Ella-Marie desperately required to save her life.
Ella-Marie was transplanted with her new liver the afternoon of November 2, 2015. Ella-Marie was released from the hospital in late December to continue her recovery at home with all her family by her side. The family is very grateful for the financial assistance for mortgage, accommodation, meals, transportation, and household expenses the David Foster Foundation could provide throughout the transplant so they could keep their focus on what mattered most; their family and little Ella-Marie. Today Ella is a thriving three year old (soon to be 4 and reminds her family daily of this). She continues with her routine check-ups with bloodwork to ensure her liver is fine and has been very fortunate to not have experienced any hiccups. She enjoys playing with her older brothers, meeting new friends and anything to do with Disney.