A HEARTBROKEN Dearne family who lost their baby after three liver transplant attempts, have vowed to keep campaigning for donors in his memory.
Little Bailey Luke Massey of Bolton lost his brave fight for life aged just nine months. During his third liver transplant operation at Leeds General Infirmary on New Year’s Eve, his tiny body gave up.
At his recent funeral at St Andrew’s Parish Church at Bolton, family members dressed in Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam and Goofy costumes, as a tribute to Bailey’s love of cartoon characters, and to highlight the desperate need for liver donors.
Bailey’s condition of biliary artresia - when bile ducts in the liver don’t function - was diagnosed at seven weeks. And over the following traumatic months medical staff and Bailey’s family did all they could to nurture his life.
Dad Simon, 27, even became a live donor to his only baby son, in the first transplant that failed after only three days on December 23. Simon and Bailey’s mum Lindsay, 24, of Pennyfields, Bolton, were told then that their baby could have only hours to live.
But a second donor allowed for a further transplant on Boxing Day. All seemed well until Bailey’s liver failed again on December 30 due to blood complications. A third donor was unlikely but medics flew down south at a moment’s notice when a liver again became available. Over an hour in to the operation Bailey arrested and could not be revived.
Bailey’s gran, Katherine Taylor of Caenarvon Crescent, Bolton, said: “Bailey was a gorgeous baby - a delight to have. But without donors, he would never have had a shot at life at all. Since he died people have told us they have placed themselves on the donor list and that’s the best news we could hear.
“This isn’t something you naturally think about. But when it hits you I can’t describe how desperate you feel. One of Bailey’s donors was in his sixties - age is not of importance which is one thing people don’t realise.
“When we were waiting for a donor on Christmas Day, in hospital, we were begging and pleading with the doctors to do something, but they were powerless without a donor and the means to go forward.
“The doctors and nurses were wonderful at Leeds. They cried with us - they all hoped Bailey would survive. But to give babies and children like Bailey a chance at life, people must sign the donor list”.
A spokesman for Frank Hoyland Funeral Directors of Bolton said: “This was an unusual funeral, but it went just as the family wished, to highlight their campaign for liver donors. We were glad to help”.
To find out more about becoming a liver donor or to join the list of donors visit www.uktransplant.org.uk.