Anna Vittoria’s Story

As told by her mother, Silvia

Upon receiving the news that the condition my unborn daughter had was terminal, I started thinking of the pain we were going through and how terrible is it that many other parents have to walk this same road. That was when donation came to mind and we started discussing the possibility with our doctor. He immediately contacted the national donation program and we started discussing the possibilities straight with the national transplant service team. There were two option that we could pursue, organ donation and tissue donation. The first option is highly controversial for babies with my daughter’s condition, anencephaly, however, we were given the option to if we wanted. As the conversation started to develop, we unfortunately realized that organ donation was not going to be our choice due to the many ifs involved and the uncertainty surrounding it all (if all went well, I would have to give my daughter to the transplant team as soon as she passed, and I was not sure I could do it given that we were likely to already have very limited time with her). Even the transplant team recommended that perhaps that route was not the most suitable for us.

However, tissue donation was still on the table and should not be a problem if my daughter was born at term. It would also allow us to take our time in handing her over after we had said our goodbyes. She was born at 39 weeks and big enough to be a successful candidate! We donated her heart valves which could be stored up to five years and could be used to save the lives of two other babies.

Nine months after we said welcome and goodbye to our angel, we received a letter at home from our contact at the national transplant service team letting us know that both valves had been used and they saved the lives of two little boys, one five and the other 7 months old. I was ecstatic to know that four worrying parents had been spared their children and the suffering we had gone through, and most importantly, that my angel Anna Vittoria had made it possible. I am such a proud parent!!!


Anna Vittoria’s Story — 1 Comment

  1. I just came across this website and your story was the first one I read. It instantly brought tears in my eyes. I just wanted to say, everyone is proud of Anna and you. Giving lives to others is very noble thing to do. Anna Vittoria will always be in our prayers !!

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