Lifewatch: 2-year-old girl needs a 2nd transplant

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - The state of Colorado has decided to cover an organ transplant for a 2-year-old girl being treated in Omaha.

Emerson White has already exhausted her lifetime benefit of $2 million with the family's private insurance.  Now, she stands a chance at a 2nd transplant of the liver and pancreas.

"Emerson needs to gain strength every day and get herself ready to be back on the transplant list," said mother Erika White.

Transplant doctors want to make sure Emerson is healthy enough and say it's no small order she has managed to survive up to now, considering how sick she was.

"The trouble that little children have like this is they need they need organs that are the same blood type and the same size," said Dr. Alan Langnas, the Chief of Transplantation.  "So there's only so many organ donors like that in the United States."

Erika intends to share this roller coaster experience with her daughter when she's older.

"I'm going to remind her that she's a strong woman and can do whatever she wants," said Erika.  "She's proven that to us since the day she was born. I'm going to tell her that people are good.  People are caring and that nobody is guaranteed a tomorrow."

Doctors say Emerson needs to be healthy enough for a second transplant, and hope she will be strong enough in a couple of weeks to get on the transplant list.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers.  LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die.

Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88.  There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.