The Beachems had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving day, as their little daughter was saved by the gift of live.
Eight-year-old Kyree Beachem was born with Hirschsprung’s disease, a condition in which she had a colon that was missing nerve cells. This results in severe constipation, diarrhoea, vomiting and other life-threatening colon complications.
In 2010, Kyree received a small intestine transplant, but her body rejected the organ about 10 days later. Subsequently, she was forced to go on IV nutrition for 22 hours a day and was no longer able to attend school.
Over the years, more of Kyree’s organs deteriorated and she eventually needed more than one transplant. After a five-year wait for a multi-organ transplant, the Beachem family received a call on Thanksgiving Day that there is a suitable donor. Within the next few hours, Kyree was already in surgery to receive a new liver, pancreas and small intestine.
The rare multi-organ transplant was done in the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and caught the media’s attention. Kyree’s mother, Nan Beachem, was contacted by CNN for a story before Kyree was even out of surgery.
A relative of Evelyn Morales then read CNN’s story and started to investigate whether the organs Kyree received was from five-year-old Arianna Morales, Evelyn’s late daughter. As they analysed the timing, ages of the girls and other details, they put two and two together and figured out that Arianna was indeed the donor.
Through social media, the Moraleses and Beachems were able to get in touch with each other and set up a meeting.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Nan said, “The meeting with the Morales was obviously very emotional but memorable.” There were smiles and laughter as the families exchanged stories about their little girls, and discovered similarities like their love for Tinkerbell, Frozen, guitars and baseball. There were also tears when they talked about the days leading up to the surgery — about Arianna’s fight against a sudden illness in particular.
Although young Kyree did not completely understand everything that was happening, Nan said that “she did understand their compassion”.
Read on to find out more about Arianna’s condition which caused her passing.