On February 24, Jesse and Nick Faris got the call they had been waiting on for a year: Their daughter Brooklyn, 2, had been moved to the top of the liver transplant waiting list at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. But the Memphis-based parents’ relief quickly turned to panic when they discovered all the flights to the city had been canceled due to a blizzard. “We considered driving or taking a train, but we were worried we wouldn’t get there on time,” Jesse tells Us Weekly. “It would have been $10,000 to charter a plane, and we couldn’t handle that financially.”
Brooklyn — who was adopted from China at 12 months old — suffers from Alagille syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents the liver from properly eliminating waste from the bloodstream.
Close family friend John Carroll reached out to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, which then alerted FedEx to the situation. That’s when the worldwide delivery company came to the rescue — and saved Brooklyn’s life.
“They called and said if we could get to the airport in 30 minutes, they could fly us free on one of their corporate jets,” Jesse tells Us. “We rushed over and met two extremely nice pilots. They showed genuine concern for our comfort and for Brooklyn.”
The family arrived at the hospital by 9 p.m., and Brooklyn was in the operating room at 10 a.m. the next day. On March 7, just 11 days after the transplant, the toddler was discharged. She will spend the rest of this month in Chicago, so that doctors can monitor her recovery.
“Brooklyn is getting stronger every day,” says Jesse. “We are still wrapping our minds around what the future holds — with this gift of new life given to her, there are so many possibilities that lie ahead for Brooklyn!”
Jesse and Nick Faris are also parents of daughter Rhet, who they adopted from Ethiopia. She celebrated her sixth birthday the day after Brooklyn’s successful transplant!
Follow Brooklyn’s journey at cotaforbrooklynf.com.
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