It all started in the womb apparently;
A random confusion of signals
That triggered the cellular mutiny.
Jaundice was the warning
And then pain that brought
Howling fits late into the night.
Don’t blame yourself, the doctor told us;
This condition arises without clear cause
And is as rare as a Tahitian black pearl.
Somewhere in an entanglement of code
When the errant command is given to attack,
The body complies without question.
It starts as fibrosis in the liver;
Bile pooling and poisoning the blood,
Turning white eyes a ghoulish yellow.
The belly swells and limbs shrink as
The body slowly starves. Mother’s milk
Will not save her.
I learn the language of disease;
Lymphocytes, atresia, bilirubin,
But they don’t help me understand.
Now begins the countdown to rescue
And I will be there next to her,
Silently guiding her home.
Natalie will undergo an emergency liver transplant on December 8th at Suandok Hospital, Chiang Mai Thailand. The 12 to 14-hour operation will involve over 30 medical staff and will make Natalie the youngest child to receive a transplant in Northern Thailand. Her father will be the living donor.
Blood knows what it knows.
It talks to itself all night, like a sliding moonlit sea
— Anthony Hecht