Liver Transplant Child Dies
CHICAGO (AP) _ A 2-year-old who had already undergone three liver transplants and whose illness drew financial contributions from hundreds of well-wishers has died while awaiting a fourth operation.
Chasity Gibson, 2, died of kidney and cardiac failure on Sunday, said Mary Ann Redeker, a spokeswoman for Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago.
Doctors had been planning a fourth transplant for Chasity but ″her condition worsened during the night,″ Ms. Redeker said.
Residents throughout western Kentucky, southern Indiana and Illinois have given money over the past two years to help pay Chasity’s medical bills.
Mike Hite, a neighbor and bank manager who served as treasurer of Chasity’s medical fund, said $204,000 was in the account.
He said her condition was a popular topic in Union County, Ky., where she was from.
″Every time someone comes in the bank, people ask about her,″ he said.
″Everybody kind of fell in love with her,″ said Vikki Miller, one of Chasity’s aunts. ″We always had hope for her, but she just couldn’t hold on any longer.″
″She never let on that she was in any pain,″ said another aunt, Cindi Gibson. ″She was the kind of little girl who draws people to her.″
Chasity’s parents, Gerald and Charlotte Gibson, who were with Chasity when she died, were expected to return home by early today, relatives said.
Ms. Redeker said surgeons had decided Saturday to look for another organ because the liver ″was functioning marginally and was infected.″
The child’s name was then placed on a national computer list as needing the organ urgently, Ms. Redeker said.
Infected parts of Chasity’s liver were removed on Wednesday, and doctors had hoped the surgery would rid her of the infection. Instead, it continued to worsen through the week, Ms. Redeker said.
The child was taken to the Chicago hospital in September and underwent the first transplant Sept. 29. Blood clots that developed in the artery leading to her liver led to subsequent transplants on Oct. 8 and 18.
Chasity had suffered from deterioration of the liver since birth.
Before going to Chicago, Chasity had been a patient at the Henderson Community Methodist Hospital since Sept. 19 and had undergone at least three transfusions.
Before the transplants, Chasity had been No. 1 on a nationwide emergency liver-donor list.
Chasity was to have undergone her first transplant in January 1984, but the tests and donor search were delayed because she contracted pneumonia.