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Canada’s first child to survive a liver transplant passes away at 35

CYNTHIA MULLIGAN | posted Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

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She was one of the first to bring organ donation to the forefront, helping to change attitudes and pave the way for other recipients.

On Saturday, Lindsay Eberhardt, Canada’s first child to survive a liver transplant, died at the age of 35.

Her story captured the world’s attention and heart.

At just two-years-old, Eberhardt desperately needed a liver transplant, but organ donation on young children was not common back in the mid 80’s.

She suffered from biliary atresia, a condition that prevents bile from leaving the liver.

Her father, James Eberhardt, said he was told by doctors there was virtually no hope and to go home and have other babies. But they refused to listen and her parents went to the media to push for a transplant. Eberhardt’s story became international news.

She finally received her new liver just before her third birthday in Boston — transplants weren’t performed in Canada back then.

Much has changed in the last 30 years.

Transplants are now performed on children as young as six weeks old. Eberhardt’s father believes the awareness his daughter raised is part of her lasting legacy.

Lindsay had a second liver transplant in 2010.

Her family said she had a good life but constantly battled health challenges.

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