FedEx flies little Memphis girl in need of liver to Chicago for transplant
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - FedEx makes millions of deliveries a day, but none as important as 2-year-old Brooklyn Faris.
The little Memphis girl was in desperate need of a liver transplant, and when one became available this week in Chicago, it seemed as though a blizzard might stand in the way.
"To get the call that day was shocking. I think we both were in complete disbelief," said mother Jesse Faris.
On Wednesday afternoon at their home in Memphis, Jesse and Nicholas Faris got the call they'd been waiting for for nearly a year. A donor liver had been found for their 2-year-old daughter Brooklyn, whom they adopted from China.
Brooklyn suffers from Alagille syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents the liver from eliminating waste and was on the waiting list for a transplant at Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital.
But there was a big problem.
"They were having a blizzard and would we be willing to try and get here? I said absolutely!" Jesse said.
But all commercial flights into Chicago had been canceled because of the storm. With the clock ticking down, FedEx came through.
"They called him back and said 'tell them to be at the airport in 30 minutes.' So we got to the airport in about 15 minutes and there was a corporate jet waiting for us that was fueled up and ready to go," said father Nicholas Faris.
The family landed at midway and arrived at the hospital by 10 p.m. Wednesday night, and hours later little Brooklyn was receiving her new liver.
"I would think at this point really excellent. Usually the first 24 hours are the most critical, and in her case it's gone well," said Riccardo Superina, Chief of Transplant Surgery.
"She's awake and she's responding to verbal cues. She's expressing her opinions which all two year olds are really good at doing," Nicholas said.
The family calls the FedEx flight "an incredibly generous gift," and say as dire as it looked, they never lost hope.
"When they said there was a blizzard, I think I just thought it doesn't matter what it takes. We're gonna get there. Who knows when this opportunity will come again?" Jesse said.
Turns out there were two lives saved that night. Brooklyn received about a quarter of a liver that was donated by an adolescent. The remainder went to an adult who was suffering liver failure and in desperate need of a transplant.
Little Brooklyn will likely remain at Lurie Children's Hospital for a month. Her parents say they plan to travel home on a commercial flight.