Little Daniel McCabe desperately needed a liver transplant, and he got one just 40 minutes after being placed on the list.
In an incredible story that is being called a Christmas miracle, a 5-month-old boy named Daniel McCabe at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago received a life-saving liver transplant almost immediately after being placed on the donor list. Daniel suffers from a rare liver disorder that is called biliary atresia, and he was placed on the donor list at 10:15 a.m. on Dec. 13.
He didn’t have to wait long: 40 minutes later, a liver became available from the deceased donor registry. It was a perfect match. It’s exceedingly rare for a liver to become available in such a short period of time, as usually recipients have to wait months or even years for a match.
Only 43 people nationwide have waited 40 minutes or less for a liver that matched them, according to an NBC Chicago report that cited the hospital. A total of 6,000 people receive a liver each year, but 14,000 people remain on the waiting list. The average wait time is 149 days for adults and 86 days for children, according to the report.
“It’s one in a million, you know, I can’t ever remember having something like this happen,” Dr. Riccardo Superina said according to the Sun-Times report. “We were prepared to wait a few months, in fact at one point I think the plan was to evaluate one of the parents for donations.”