Hartselle baby needs new liver; fund set up to help cover costs
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Life took an unexpected and frightening turn for Rick and Charlotte Woznicki of Hartselle three and a half months ago when their infant daughter Sidney was placed on a "most urgent list" for a liver transplant.
"Sidney became really jaundiced when she was three months old," her mother said. "We took her to her pediatrician for a checkup; blood tests showed her liver enzymes were highly elevated. He recommended a gastroenterologist and after he examined her he consulted with a pediatric surgeon. A biopsy was done and the results showed her liver was not functioning properly. She was diagnosed with biliary atrisia and would need a transplant. As a temporary measure, surgery was performed to remove the gall bladder and biliary tree and attach the bile duct to the small intestine. This was done to provide a bridge for the transplant and enable her to continue to grow."
Sidney remains on numerous medications.
"Her mental growth is progressing normally but her physical growth has been slowed because of her liver condition," Charlotte stated. "She is taking four different medications-an oil extracted from fatty foods, special vitamins, steroids and antibiotics."
Sidney was hospitalized for 12 days recently because of a liver infection.
"We're on call to be packed and ready to report to UAB Hospital when a liver becomes available," she added. "We'll have to be there within six hours of notification, and we've been told she'll remain in the hospital for two months after the surgery."
Charlotte Woznicki said she had to leave her job with Compass Bank to take care of her daughter.
"Her immune system is very weak and we have to protect her as much as possible from picking up any kind of an infection," she pointed out.
The loss of her income coupled with mounting medical and drug bills has put the family in a financial bind. Rick is employed by Compass Bank as collections manager at the Bank Card Center in Decatur.
"We're thankful that our medical insurance is going to cover the entire cost of the transplant," Charlotte said. "But we're responsible for deductibles, some medications and lab fees and personal expenses."
To help out the family in their emergency, co-workers have set up a fund for Sidney at Compass Bank. Anyone wishing to make a donation may do so in person at any Compass Bank location in Decatur or by mailing a check to the Sidney Reyenne Woznicki Fund, 2009C Beltline Road, SW, Decatur, AL 35203.