A young mother and father are devastated and heartbroken after the tragic death of their daughter. Hannah Muskett and Lewis Brittain didn’t know they were having a baby until Ava-Louise was born in a hospital toilet.
Although the couple was completely shocked by the arrival of their daughter, they would have been absolutely in love with her from the moment she was born in September 2021. Shortly after she was born, doctors Ava-Louise with a very rare genetic condition called Alagille syndrome, which meant she would have to undergo a liver transplant, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Both Hannah and Lewis were a match and volunteered to be a donor, but it was Mom who made the incredible decision to give some of her liver to Ava. The surgery was initially successful and Ava’s body accepted the new liver, but some time after, she developed kidney failure and developed sepsis. She died tragically a few days later, on June 1.
Her family has paid tribute to their ‘miracle’ baby girl, who they described as the ‘happiest, happiest and boldest’ baby despite her condition and all she’d been through. Her aunts, Sammie, Chloe and Becky, have since launched a gofundme page to raise money to buy a permanent memorial to Ava. Any additional money will be donated to Allagile Syndrome Alliance. You can donate to the family fundraiser here.
Samantha said: “We are all broken and supporting each other and being there for Hannah and Lewis – especially for Hannah because she now has the scar from the transplant as a reminder. Hannah didn’t know she was pregnant. She thought it was her appendix and eventually gave birth to Ava in the emergency room bathroom.
“She was immediately placed in an incubator and doctors ran tests on her and then they discovered she had a condition called Allagiles syndrome that affects the liver.” Ava was able to come home and spend time with the family for a week over Christmas before being admitted to Leeds Children’s Hospital for a transplant on December 29.
Hannah donated part of her liver for the transplant, which took place on May 26. The surgery went well and Ava’s body seemed to accept the new organ. But after that there were complications and Ava had kidney failure and sepsis,” said Samantha. “She died on June 1 at 2 a.m. Her mom and dad were there, both sets of grandparents and me and my sister followed and said goodbye.
“Her mother and father are only 21. They both spent their 21st birthdays in hospital with Ava. They lived in a hotel in Leeds while she was at Leeds Children’ Hospital. Hannah and Lewis were in shock when Ava was born, but from the moment they met her they were over the moon, they have been by her side every day.
“We started the fundraiser so that we could do something with Ava’s ashes and have a permanent memorial to her as a bank. She was loved by all her family and both families are broken, life will never be the same without her infectious smile and pretty face.”
Both families also plan to participate in a three-peak challenge across the country in September to raise money for the Allagile Syndrome Alliance.