A college student from Wall has selflessly undergone extreme procedures in order to give part of her liver to a precious little girl who may otherwise not have lived past the age of 2.

The Rosko family in Jackson has quite a story to tell about how their little girl's life has been saved because of the selfless act of their babysitter.

Farra and George Rosko are the parents of three kids: a 7 year old girl, a 5 year old boy, and baby Natalia, who they call by her nickname Talia (pronounced Tal-LEE-ah).

Talia, who is now 16 months old, was born with a rare condition called Biliary Atresia (BA), when the central bile duct (which connects the liver to the stomach and drains bile) gets obliterated. Without a bile duct there is nowhere for the bile to drain so it gets backed up into the liver and the liver becomes cirrhotic.

This disease affects only about 200 babies a year. No one knows why it happens and there is no cure, except for a liver transplant. Talia had a procedure at 10 weeks old (when she was diagnosed) to try and prolong the need for the liver transplant but it was unsuccessful.

Without a liver transplant she would likely not survive past the age of 2.

This past June, Farra and George were looking for a sitter to help with the kids over the summer. They interviewed Kiersten Miles from Wall  for the sitter position. Kiersten was home for the summer after attending Towson University in Maryland for a degree in Special Education. After Farra and George interviewed her, they fell in love with her and hired her to be their sitter.

(This photo was taken of Kiersten and baby Talia the day before the surgery--the last time they saw each other before the surgery. Photo by Farra Rosko)
(This photo was taken of Kiersten and baby Talia the day before the surgery--the last time they saw each other before the surgery. Photo by Farra Rosko)

Three weeks into her babysitting position for the Rosko family, Kiersten found out about Talia's condition and immediately volunteered to fill out the form and get tested to see if she was a match. Farra made sure Kiersten knew how serious this was and that Kiersten had to speak to her mom about all of this.

Kiersten told the Rosko family that she had already spoken to her mom, researched the surgery and knew her blood type was compatible with Talia's. Kiersten filled out the forms and never looked back. She had to undergo countless blood tests, psych exams, and visits to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). After a very aggressive battery of tests she was approved to be Talia's donor.

Farra says, "We really believes that God sent our family a living earthly angel to save our baby angel."

(Baby Talia and Kiersten, photo from Farra Rosko)
(Baby Talia and Kiersten, photo from Farra Rosko)

Talia and Kiersten's surgeries occurred on January 11th. It started with Kiersten at HUP where the surgeons removed part of her liver and walked it over to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for Talia's surgery. Kiersten's surgery was about 5 hours and Talia's was about 8 hours.

Both came through the surgeries perfectly. Talia was out of the PICU within 48 hours and out of the hospital 9 days post transplant. She is home now but goes back to CHOP for weekly blood work to monitor her liver function and her anti-rejection medication levels. She is doing amazingly well.

Farra says you would never know (unless you saw her scar and her medications) that she just had a liver transplant 2 weeks ago. As for Kiersten, she was released from the hospital 5 days after the surgery and is also doing really well. She will go back to HUP for check ups in her incision and cannot lift anything for 8 weeks.

Farra says, "Grateful is not the word that we would use for what Kiersten has done for our family. She selflessly put her life on hold to save Talia's life." Kiersten's sister says her sister is a true hero saving the world one person at a time.

Talia's new liver will continue to grow with her as she grows. And Kiersten's liver will regenerate itself within 5 weeks.

In case you were wondering, it is so challenging to find a living donor. First of all, the donor has to be in perfect health, with no issues whatsoever. In this case it had to be someone small because Talia is a baby and even though it was a piece of a liver it was still the whole lobe and artery so it had to be small. The liver also had to be a perfect shape with Talia's. Plus, Kiersten has to be out of commission for a few months to heal. Kiersten is very tired as her body works to grow her liver back.

As you can imagine, the Rosko family has undergone thousands in medical expenses caring for their baby girl. On top of that, the estimated cost including both surgeries and medicines for Talia is $75,000. A fund has been set up for donations that will be used for Talia's medicines and care that she will need for the rest of her life.

To donate, CLICK HERE.

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