Girl meets family of donor who saved her life

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OKLAHOMA CITY — For the first time, 19-year-old Breanna Fly met the family of the girl who donated her liver so Breanna could live. Breanna’s mother, Bridget McCoy, believes her daughter caught Hepatitis A from contaminated food.

“There is a less than 1- percent chance that it will destroy your liver is what I was told and that it usually just runs its course through your body,” Breanna said.

However, in this particular case, her liver was 90 percent damaged.

Doctors told Breanna’s family that she had just days to live but that’s when the unexpected happened.

Another young girl, 26-year-old Anna Eaton Smith Thomas, had recently passed away around this same time from a brain aneurysm.

Anna’s family was left heartbroken and devastated.

“They had just had dinner and she stretched out on the sofa and shut her eyes,” Anna’s mother, America Farrell, said.

Farrell was previously a transplant coordinator and all of her children wanted to be organ donors.

“There’s never a doubt in the world that Anna wouldn’t want to be a donor,” Farrell said.

Now, Anna’s family takes comfort in knowing that Anna saved the life of another girl when her liver was donated to Breanna.

In January, Breanna underwent a six-hour liver transplant with the help of Dr. Anthony Sebastian and his team at the Oklahoma Transplant Center.

“In acute liver failure transplantation is always challenging because you don’t know when a person is in a coma, are they going to wake up after the transplant,” Dr. Sebastian said.

The transplant went perfectly, and finally, the families of both girls came together to share their stories and their thanks.

They also want to remind others to check the organ donor box because it could save a life.

“Every case has the same taste; it has not gotten old. It still has the same miracle,” Dr. Harlan Wright said, of the Oklahoma Transplant Center.

Breanna is now enrolled at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, Oklahoma.

She has secured spots on two cheerleading squads and says she feels better than ever.

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