Family seeks live donor for baby girl diagnosed with acute liver failure

NOW: Family seeks live donor for baby girl diagnosed with acute liver failure

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A team of transplant experts at Froedtert are standing behind a family in need. Their baby girl has acute liver failure.

The last 16 days have been a whirlwind for baby Lydia's parents, who came home from the hospital with no indication that anything was wrong.

Then, at her first checkup, what can only be described as a nightmare began.

Sweet Lydia Pennenberg looks like a healthy baby girl.

"She's very alert, very awake, you know. You'd almost never know anything was wrong with her," said father Andrew Pennenberg.

The Pennenbergs proudly brought their eight-pound, seven-ounce bundle of joy home from Green Bay's Bellin Hospital to the welcoming arms of her older brothers.

"Everything was just kind of normal, eating fine and very alert."

But her first checkup would prove something wasn't right with Lydia's liver. 

Andrew and Jessica sought help from a specialist at Children's Wisconsin and found themselves wondering what went wrong.

"I didn't have any abnormalities at all," said mother Jessica Pennenberg. "Kind of natural pregnancy, normal pregnancy, typical ultrasound."

Over the next seven days, Lydia was diagnosed with acute liver failure, and her parents told she's in desperate need of a liver transplant.

"The status is 1A urgent," said Shannon Sova, Froedtert transplant coordinator. 

Shannon Sova is on the team searching for a donor to save Lydia's life.

"Lydia is very sick, and the criteria is set for a reason," Sova said. 

The criteria is difficult, indeed. The donor must be an adult, 18-40, blood type A or O, and ideally under 80 pounds.

The Pennenbergs are now taking their plea to social media, hoping their story will end up successful, like little Lucas.

Madison's miracle baby found his liver donor through a social media post, and over a year later, Lucas is doing well. 

The Pennenbergs pray for the same.

"And there's a lot of people counting on her to be there. So, so many people love her and care about her so we really need her to come back home as soon as possible," said Andrew.

Anyone who fits the criteria and is interesting in donating, is asked to fill out a donor form.

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