(Honolulu)- A Manoa woman, who survived a doctor's prognosis, warning her that she had two weeks to live, has two gifts to celebrate. Sarah Chee gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She is the first woman to receive a liver transplant in Hawaii and to then give birth in-state.
Chee showed off her newborn daughter, weighing in at seven pounds, five ounces at the Queen's Medical Center Friday. With her husband and transplant surgeon by her side, since her battle to live began two years ago, Chee is no longer just surviving- but thriving.
Alexandria Kamalani Oma Chee was born perfectly healthy. Her parents say the miraculous birth could not have been possible, but for the generosity of a total stranger, who gave Sarah a new liver. "It's amazing, I feel very blessed, for sure," said Chee in tears.
When doctors at the Hawaii Medical Center gave Sarah two weeks to live back in 2010, the single mother of a teenager had abused alcohol so badly that her liver was shot. Dr. Linda Wong performed the transplant surgery that saved Sarah's life. Together, they shared yet another medical success and personal triumph for them both."I don't have the new mom excitement that she does, but we got the new liver and the new mom so I'm kind of excited about that," said Dr. Wong.
We first told Sarah's survival story before she became a new mom. Back then, she suffered through brutal daily medical treatments that made her so sick, she says she wanted to die. She never could have imagined the beauty her post-transplant life would hold. First, her fiancée, who bathed and fed her, never once left Sarah's side."He kept our wedding date. I couldn't believe it. I was telling him just cancel everything. It's not going to happen. But he said, 'No, you're going to do your treatment and get your liver and we're getting married.'"
And now, with more help from Dr. Wong and an obstetrician, willing to chance delivering a liver transplant patient's baby, a second dream came true. Adjusting Sarah's medication, doctors gave her fertility drugs and watched her closely throughout her pregnancy. Risking miscarriage, low birth weight and birth defects, Sarah beat the odds once more.
After serious soul-searching about whether to risk having a baby, Sarah and her "now husband" had faith in a happy outcome. "They did a lot of monitoring of both the baby and Sarah all the way through so it was good," said Marc Chee. It was such a smooth birth, that Sarah says her post-transplant pregnancy was even easier than her first –seventeen years ago.