Father gave daughter gift of life through transplant

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 8 at 11:41 PM

Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- Rachel White just turned 22, and looks like she has barely ever suffered from a cold, much less come close to dying. Yet she is alive today because of two liver transplants.

"I am one of a million, and I know that, and I always used to hear it back in the day, and I was like, oh yeah, miracle child, like yay,” she said.

Rachel is doing so well she doesn't even need to take special drugs to stop her body from rejecting the donated organ.

"I feel good,” she said. “I've always just felt like every normal kid, really, just with a really big scar that's great for show and tell."

Her father, Bruce White, said, "Now we're just thrilled with college student, and off all of her medicines, and just going forward day after day."

But 20 years ago, while little Rachel had a charming smile, she was dying. Her liver had failed while she was a toddler, the poisons building up in her body colored her skin a bright yellowish-green.

It would take two liver transplants to save her. The first one came from her father, who donated a segment of his liver to save his daughter in 1993.

"I'm sore, I feel proud,” Bruce said in 1993.

Rachel’s mother said then that Bruce was her hero.

At the time the Whites faced a huge challenge. They had to do major fundraising in order to pay for the surgeries, and they've never forgotten the people throughout this area whose donations helped make those surgeries possible.

"They all reached into their pockets, and raised thousands and thousands of dollars,” Bruce said.

Rachel said, "I mean I'm alive, so a good bit, definitely meant a lot to me."

She plans a career as a social worker, helping patients who need organ transplants. And this daughter has always had a special relationship with the father who saved her life.

"I love him and everything, and I'm definitely very close to him."

To register as a potential organ donor, visit the driver's license office or call the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency toll free at 1-800-521-4483 or click here.

 

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