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Meredith Hinton ’14 donates part of her liver to help a baby

Courtesy: Meredith Hinton '14. Meredith Hinton '14 donated part of her liver to help a baby.

Feb 24, 2015

A 22-year-old Delaware Valley College alumna donated part of her liver to help Lucas Fox, a baby boy, who was born with a condition that destroyed his liver.

Meredith Hinton ’14, of Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, grew up in the same church as the baby’s parents and found out through her local paper that they needed help. In December, his parents campaigned to find him a donor who was a match. They worked with the media to put his story out to the public and said their Christmas wish was to find a donor for their son.

There was an outpouring of support, but many people who wanted to help found out they were not good candidates. Hinton felt called to help the family, applied and soon found out she could make their wish come true.

“I had known he was sick, but I didn’t know he needed a donation until I read that article,” said Hinton. “That was also where I found out I could potentially be a match. I talked to my parents and they were really supportive of it and proud that I wanted to do something like this.”

Fox was born in February 2014 and became sick shortly after he was born. His parents found out he had biliary atresia, a life threatening condition, which causes bile to become trapped and damages the liver. Biliary atresia affects about one in every 18,000 infants.

 

Courtesy: Meredith Hinton. Lucas Fox, a boy born in February 2014,received part of Meredith Hinton '14's liver.

Courtesy: Meredith Hinton. Lucas Fox, a boy born in February 2014, received part of Meredith Hinton '14's liver.

If an infant receives part of a living donor’s liver both the donor and the infant can grow complete livers over time.

“It was really exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time,” said Hinton of finding out she was a match. “I was excited and happy that I could help him out, but I was also nervous because I had never had surgery before this.”

She said the nurses and doctors told her everything that would happen throughout the process and explained everything.

Hinton said she contacted the baby’s mom originally to get the information to apply, but throughout the testing process they didn’t keep in contact.

“They didn’t want me to feel pressured or, get the family’s hopes up,” said Hinton. “I was always told I could opt out.”

Hinton is still recovering and is getting ready to start back at work. She has been keeping in contact with the family and receives regular updates on how Fox is doing.

“The parents were so supportive,” said Hinton. “They were overjoyed and crying when I saw them after the surgery. I met the grandparents and they were crying. It was just a very emotional process.”

 

Lucas Fox, his parents, and Meredith Hinton

Courtesy: Meredith Hinton '14. Lucas Fox with his parents, Amber and Josh Fox, and Meredith Hinton '14, the young DelVal alumna who donated part of her liver to help him. Lucas celebrated his first birthday Feb. 21, 2015. 

Hinton is looking forward to being a part of the family’s life and hoping to watch Fox grow up.

“The whole reason I wanted to do this is so that he could grow up and have as normal of a life as possible,” said Hinton. “I never expected to have so many people know about it and have so much support even from complete strangers. I’m excited that Lucas is going to have a future.”

She said that being a donor has been life changing for her.

“So many people have expressed their gratitude who have no connection to me or Lucas,” said Hinton. “It is shocking that something that I did can bring hope to people. I never expected it. It’s overwhelming to me and great that God can use me for this.”