Anyone who has ever tried to lose a few pounds will tell you it's not an easy feat. But a father of three managed to lose more than 40 pounds in just two months, and he had the most important reason in the world to do it. His infant daughter was dying, and she needed a liver. His liver.
Little Jazlyn Camargo was diagnosed right after birth with biliary atresia, a condition of the liver that is life-threatening. By 5 months old, her doctors said she needed a transplant.
It's one of the scariest things any parent can be told, particularly when they have an infant. Organ transplants into babies are particularly tricky because of their size. Adult organs cannot always fit into babies, which means parents have to wait for the organs from pediatric cases to become available, and not every parent of a dead child wants to donate their child's organs.
But Eduardo Camargo's daughter didn't need to be put on the list. The liver is one of the few organs that can be sliced into pieces and transplanted. That means that a baby can often get an adult's liver transplant. What's more, the transplant can come from a living donor rather than having to wait for someone to die.
Fortunately for Jazlyn, her dad was a perfect match. The only problem was his weight. At 210 pounds, the 35-year-old's body mass was putting a strain on his own liver, which meant he wasn't a candidate for the surgery.
Only what parent is going to let a few pounds get in the way of saving their child's life? I know I've struggled with losing weight before, but if there was ever an incentive to make it happen, looking at the grim statistics for organ donation would be enough to help me over any hurdle I encountered.
Every day in America, an estimated 18 people die because they don't receive organ transplants that can save their lives. For livers alone, there are about 16,000 people on the waiting list at any one time. If a parent has it in their power to keep a child off that list, you better believe they'll do something to keep them off of it!
Eduardo Camargo ran 20 miles a week, sometimes vomiting from the strain, but he did it. He slimmed down from 210 to below the 180-pound mark, and the surgery happened!
He was a true hero for his little girl. Jazlyn and dad are doing fine now after the life-saving surgery. And here's betting he's a lot more fun to play with for his girls now that he's 40-some pounds lighter and better able to run around with them!
Have you ever struggled to lose weight? How have your kids inspired you to take the weight off?
Image via sylvar/Flickr