Families celebrate 2 Bay Area moms who donated organs to infant daughters this Mother's Day

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Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Families celebrate 2 Bay Area mom organ donors this Mother's Day
This year Mother's Day will be an extra special one for several two whose mothers recently gave their kids the gift of an organ transplant.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- This year Mother's Day will be an extra special one for two families whose mothers recently gave their kids the gift of an organ transplant.

"This is Francesca. We call her Frankie. She is 18 months old!"

"This is Sahej Judge. She's my daughter, my second-born child!"

Two separate families. Two little girls. Both were found to have a liver condition in the months after they were born called biliary atresia -- a condition that could have killed them.

"Something kind of always felt off to me about her in the way that she looked much different from my husband and firstborn. We are Punjabi and typically you are brown skin," said Sahej's mom Aman Judge.

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"She was so yellow from the bilirubin. She looked like a 'Simpsons' character, and it was awful," said Frankie's mom Analisa Bea.

"Although it's uncommon as a diagnosis for children needing liver transplants, it is the most common diagnosis that we do," said Dr. John Roberts who is a surgeon at UCSF.

For Frankie and Sahej, liver transplants were the best possible solution. Sahej's family was vocal online about her need for a liver and the world reacted.

Their post online was shared by not only Stephen Curry's sister Sydel, but Punjabi singer Diljit Dosanjh. More than 250 donor applicants came forward for Sahej.

Similar in Frankie's case where more than half a dozen people said they would donate their liver. But time was an issue -- Frankie's health was deteriorating and Sahej was getting worse.

MORE: Mom opens up about getting ready to donate kidney to 2-year-old son

In both cases, Mom stepped up.

"It was about her third admission at that point. They battle a lot of complications with liver disease, and I said, 'Um it's me. I'm going to just go through with it,'" said Aman Judge.

"And the idea, what if I didn't go through this? Frankie would die. There's a lot of anxieties there," said Analisa.

Both moms, on different days -- but in strikingly similar situations last year -- went through with liver transplants. They had part of their liver taken out at UCSF Parnassus in San Francisco then transferred to the other side of town at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital at Mission Bay, where the girls then had their liver transplant surgeries.

"That means everything. She's double and triple down on our family. She's an amazing person and really strong, and I love her," said Analisa's husband Nick Bea.

MORE: SoCal man who donated kidney to Bay Area woman will donate part of his liver to baby

"There's no words that can be said, no gifts that can be given, that can do justice to what she did. She gave life to this baby twice," said Aman's husband Navroop Singh Judge.

The fathers of both of the girls were unable to be donors because they were not matches. The mothers say they were physically too large.

Today Sahej is a healthy 14-month-old girl who enjoys singing on the microphone.

Frankie is healthy too. Enjoying life with her twin brother.

"I will tell you, as a mom of multiples and of a child that has medical conditions: the other moms and parents out there that have to go through it day-to-day and all the struggles, they're the heroes," said Analisa Bea.

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Yes call either one of these moms a hero, and they'll tell you they did what they had to do as a mother. With tears coming down her face, Aman described her emotions.

"I feel like any mom in my shoes would do the same thing, and I feel like it -- there's so many babies, so many children out there that need a transplant, whether it is a kidney or a liver. And if they can't, they're still heroes too. So, I feel like any mom in my situation, if she could she would, so I don't think I'm special. I think we're just lucky and really blessed that we were able to," said Aman.

There are plenty of ways you can become part of the donor process.

Currently more than 100,000 people nationwide are on the waiting list for a transplant.

You can register to be an organ donor here.

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