The Carson City parents of 6-month-old Ajia Mae Vincent said Tuesday their baby girl desperately needs a liver donor.
The infant's father, Mel Vincent, said a family member had volunteered to donate a liver, but backed out because of the large scar the operation would leave.
Born Aug. 8, Ajia was diagnosed in October with biliary artresia, a congenital liver disease, the father said.
The baby is at Stanford Medical Center's Lucille Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.
Roni Zarte, who works for the hospital's organ-donor program, said it will be difficult to find someone to donate a liver or part of one to Ajia.
"There's a huge amount of risk involved," Zarte said. "The donor must have a strong emotional tie to the family and be willing to risk his or her life."
The donor also must have type A-positive blood and roughly similar body size with no health problems, Zarte said. That narrows the field considerably, she said.
Mel Vincent, a field supervisor for DK Drywall & Stucco in Sparks, said his baby daughter was first treated for her liver malady in October and brought home in December.
The roof blew off the family's home during a storm a few days later. The Vincents had to take temporary shelter in a motel, the father said.
"It ruined our whole Christmas," Vincent said.
Tragedy struck again right before Christmas when Ajia became stricken again.
"She began crying, and I picked her up, and she began bleeding, so we took her back to the hospital," he said. "I couldn't go through that all over again."
Mel and Cyndi Vincent, who have lived in Carson City for four years, have another daughter and a son.
YOU CAN HELP
Donors or anyone with information about a donor who can help Ajia Mae Vincent may call the family at 883-2028.