Cheyanne Leonard and her family need your prayers.
The 3-month-old daughter of Mandy Page and Joseph Leonard of Alta, she has been diagnosed with biliary atresia - the absence or closure of the major bile ducts that drain bile from the liver. There is one case of biliary atresia out of every 15,000 live births. Females are affected slightly more often than males.
Monday she underwent surgery to remove her gall bladder and attach the small intestine directly to the liver at the spot where bile is found or expected to drain.
Cheyanne's parents have been told the surgery is somewhat of a band aid. Her liver will function for now but eventually she will need a liver transplant. Doctors want her to be at least 1 year before the transplant takes place.
A transplant can be a portion of an adult liver so soon, all family members will be tested to see if they match up with Cheyanne. An adult liver will regenerate itself, the family has been told.
For now, it is a waiting game. The infant is doing well but the hospital stay will be lengthy. Big brother Landon Vanderhoff, 3 1/2, is anxiously awaiting her return home.
Cheyanne's parents are also doing all right - glad to be in Omaha where the medical team has been great.
It has been a long three months for all of them.
Cheyanne was born May 10 at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center. She became jaundiced in the hospital, not unusual, and was treated for it. Five weeks later the jaundice returned. It took another five weeks before the diagnosis was made after countless trips to the family's local doctor, to Iowa City and finally Omaha.
This young family could also use help financially. A fund for Cheyanne has been set up at Security Bank in Storm Lake.
Grandparents of Cheyanne are Keith and Natalie Page, Alta, and Michelle Newcomb of north Carolina. Great-grandma is Bonnie Goodman, Alta, and great-uncle is Nick Goodman.
If you would like to help the family, please send donations to:
Security Trust and Savings Bank
Cheyanne Page Account
C/O Mandy Page
601 Lake Ave.
Storm Lake, Iowa 50588