Taking time off
The life of a mom or dad is no easy task. While they love their children more than anything else in the world, they sometimes need a break from being hands-on all the time. They need time to reconnect with their partners, to think of something other than their children, and to just relax away from their home environment. When this time comes, parents can rest easy knowing that babysitters are available to take over the reigns and look after their children. Or sometimes, they will do so much more.
Saving their lives
In fact, one particular babysitter went above and beyond to look after a child. While she was only paid to keep an eye on the baby while her parents were having fun by themselves, she soon realized that she would have to step in and save the baby’s life. This wasn’t in her job description, but she knew that she had no other choice. She couldn’t just stand by and watch the baby pass away in front of her very eyes. She needed to act, and she needed to act fast.
The babysitter in question
However, to truly appreciate this incredible story, we need to learn a little more about the babysitter in question. In 2016, Kiersten Miles was just 22 years old. The student, who hails from New Jersey, was on a break from college and decided to earn a bit of extra cash during the summer to pay for her studies. Thankfully, her friend had the perfect opportunity for her. She knew of a family with three children who were looking for a babysitter, so she passed on her name.
Kiersten’s name was passed onto the Rosko family, which is comprised of Farra and George Rosko, and their three children. At the time, they were the parents of Mattea, 7, Trey, 5, and Talia, who was just nine months old. Farra worked long hours as an administrator for the Plasma & Physics Laboratory at Princeton University, and George was the manager of a New Jersey gymnasium. Because of this, they were due some time off, and they just wanted to find the perfect person to look after their children. Kiersten was that person.
However, before the Rosko family could offer Kiersten the job, her friend decided to give the college student some background information about the youngest member of the Rosko clan. Although Talia looked like any other 9-month-old baby, she was actually suffering from a devastating condition called biliary atresia. This is a rare condition that affects around 1 in every 18,000 infants, and Talia just happened to be one of the unlucky ones. Despite this new information, Kiersten was still eager to look after the children, and she accepted the Rosko’s offer.
A strong little girl
Talia may have just been 9 months old, but she was one of the strongest babies that her parents had ever come across. Biliary atresia causes the bile ducts of an infant to become backed up, and this can cause irreparable damage to some of the major organs in the body; including the liver. Although there are treatments to help the blockage and to potentially lengthen the lifespan of those who suffer from the condition, Talia’s parents were told that her survival rate would be extremely low. In fact, they gave her two years.
The only way
Thankfully, there is some hope for those infants with biliary atresia. While there is no cure, a higher chance of survival can come from a liver transplant. Although this filled the Rosko family with hope, they knew that the chances of Talia receiving such a transplant would be slim. Nevertheless, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia placed her on the United Network of Organ Sharing list and decided to just simply wait and pray that a match would turn up. They weren’t going to go in search of a new liver.
Keeping the secret
Although the Rosko family had allowed Kiersten into their family, they did not plague their babysitter with their struggles. They wanted to keep their personal life within their own circle and didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for them. Because of this, Kiersten only heard of Talia’s struggles through her friend, and she made a mental note to give the infant extra care and attention. Although she enjoyed looking after the children, Kiersten went through a change of heart three weeks into her time with the family.
A new idea
As Kiersten watched the children play in front of her, she began to wonder about Talia and her condition. She decided to do some more research into her condition and came across the fact that a liver transplant could save the infant’s life. She wondered why Talia’s parents hadn’t looked into the idea of a transplant before, but soon realized that they would have done anything to save their daughter. This meant that there was no one on the register who was eligible to donate their liver to the young girl.
Kiersten was shocked to see the young girl struggling in front of her, no matter how hard she fought to keep a hold of her life. She had been a blood donor for numerous years because Kiersten knew that she had a very common blood type – and she wanted to help as many people as possible. To her, giving blood was just something she did on a regular basis, and it had become a common practice for her. Because of this, she wanted to go home and have a real think about her options in terms of Talia.
Doing her research
In fact, Kiersten decided to do even more research, because she wanted to see if she could help Talia find a liver donor. She knew that the little girl deserved a better chance in life, and she knew that the only way to give her that was to find a match. It was at this point that Kiersten also decided to get her mom involved. She explained Talia’s situation to her mother, and she went through the few options that were in front of them. Kiersten ran her idea past her mom, and she received her full blessing.
After she received her mother’s blessing, Kiersten took her idea to the Roskos. She needed them to know that she was there to help, and she felt they should know just how much she wanted to do so. Although the Roskos were overwhelmed, they were skeptical. They didn’t want Kiersten to put herself out for the sake of their daughter, and they didn’t want to impact her life. This was a serious decision that she was making, and they wanted her to be aware of it. This wasn’t like giving blood.
Through her research, Kiersten discovered that her common blood type meant that there was a chance that she could donate her liver to anyone. As soon as she read this, she knew what she had to do. If she could potentially save the life of the young girl she had been looking after, she would do it. She could survive without part of her liver, and she wanted to give Talia the gift of life because Kiersten knew that she needed a second chance. All she needed now was the Roskos’ blessing.
When Talia’s parents realized that their babysitter was serious and that she knew exactly what she was willing to do, they couldn’t turn down the confident young woman. She had received the blessing from her mother, she had done her research, and she was ready to move forward. So, Kiersten filled out the paperwork to sign up as a liver donor, and then made her way to the hospital to undertake tests. They needed to make sure that Kiersten really was the perfect match.
Talking to the doctors
Kiersten was happy to go through as many tests as she needed to confirm that she was a match for Talia. Thankfully, there were only a few stages to complete to gain this information. She simply had a few blood tests, she spoke with the doctors who were working on Talia’s case, and she went through a series of imaging scans to ensure that she would be able to save her life. As soon as the results came back, Kiersten and the Rosko family couldn’t believe their luck. Kiersten was a match.
Having a think
Kiersten was more determined than ever to go forward with the donation, but there was one piece of information that really made her think about what she was going through. Although you can survive without part of your liver, this would render Kiersten unable to donate again in the future. This means that if she ever had a child with a liver condition, she would not be able to go through with the same procedure. This knocked her for six, but she knew she had to continue.
To get herself ready for the transplant, Kiersten had to visit the hospital numerous times for tests and to ensure that she was healthy and ready for such a life-changing operation. When the day finally came, she made her way to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where surgeons removed a part of Kiersten’s liver. After this procedure, she had to spend a week in the hospital and live with a small scar that would be a reminder of her courageous plight to save a life.
After part of Kiersten’s liver was removed, it was transported from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to where Talia was staying at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania. The transplant was a roaring success, and over the next coming months, Talia began to make a full recovery and thrive with her new liver in tow. As Kiersten began to see the change in the child she used to babysit, she knew that she had made the right decision. She paid a small price for such a big impact.
A hopeful situation
The Rosko family couldn’t believe that their new babysitter had been so selfless, and they couldn’t thank Kiersten enough. She had given their baby a chance of survival when they had all but lost hope, and she had given her a second chance to grow up and thrive alongside her siblings. They later noted in an interview that Kiersten “turned a hopeless situation into a hopeful situation” and that their baby may have passed away without her help. They truly have no way to repay her for what she has done.
A viral sensation
As the news of Talia’s liver transplant made its way out into the local area, more and more people learned of Kiersten’s selfless act. They couldn’t believe that such a young woman would be so generous after knowing the baby for just a couple of weeks, and they were inspired by how brave and courageous she had been throughout. Because of this, people from across the globe sought Kiersten out on social media and praised her actions. She soon became a viral sensation, and she couldn’t believe the support she received.
An inspiring story
Although many people receive organ donations each year, there are still many who lose their battle without receiving the life-changing surgery that they so need. Kiersten is aware of this, and she is now using her newfound fame to bring organ donation to the forefront of society. She hopes that her own story of saving Talia’s life will inspire others to be selfless and help those who need it the most. Needless to say that Kiersten’s story has impressed us, and we’re glad to see that she and Talia are both doing well.
Social media love
Amazingly, Kiersten and Talia’s story has made it across the globe, and millions of people have been touched by her selfless act. They cannot believe that such a young woman with so much ahead of her would go through with such a life-changing procedure, and they see it as a true testament to her character. Because of this, those who have read her story have wanted to get into contact with Kiersten and thank her for her generosity on social media. She has received an “outpouring of love.”
Although she has been inundated with messages from well-wishers around the world, Kiersten has remained incredibly humble. She has tried to “like” all of the posts, messages, and comments that they have written on her Facebook page, and she wants them to know that she appreciates all of their kind words. She has noted that she will always appreciate all of the people who have shared her story and sent her messages because they mean “so much to her.” She has remarked that her fans are “The absolute best!”
Sharing their stories
One particular post on Kiersten’s Facebook page has amassed over 1,300 likes, but it has also allowed people from all over to share their own stories of organ donation. One particular Facebook user wanted Kiersten to know about her brother’s experience. Although she was more than willing to give her brother part of her liver to keep him in her life, they soon heard that his liver was so damaged he would need a complete transplant. The woman could not do so without passing away herself, and he passed away before he could receive a transplant.
A selfless donation
Although this story was heartbreaking, the woman on Kiersten’s Facebook wanted her to know just how much her donation meant to those who had been through similar situations. There was a chance that Talia could have passed away, but Kiersten’s selfless donation gave her a new chance at life. She gave the youngster the chance to thrive and succeed with what’s ahead of her, and she gave the youngster a chance to grow up. Not many people would be quite so selfless, and she wanted to thank Kiersten for that.
Spreading the word
When she knew that people across the world were coming to her social media profiles with their own comments, Kiersten decided to take advantage of her platform and spread the word of organ donation. During one post, she noted that someone is added to the national transplant list every single ten minutes. She wanted her followers and her friends to know that by signing up to be an organ donor, they can save up to eight lives. Although she had already donated, she was finished with her plight just yet.
A hefty bill
It’s no secret that medical bills are expensive, and those who don’t have huge amounts of money to their name often struggle to pay off their debts. They are left with gaping holes in their wallets, and they spend the rest of their lives trying to pay off these debts. This was no different for the Rosko family. While Talia’s mom and dad both had well-paid jobs, there was no way that they could afford the medical expenses themselves. Not when the liver transplant and subsequent check-ups would cost them around $75,000.
Asking for donations
Because of this, Kiersten knew that her work with the Rosko family was not over. Although she had stopped babysitting for them, she knew that she had more to give. She wanted them to live as normal a life as they possibly could, and she knew that money towards these medical bills would do just that. So, she decided to once again use her newfound fame to raise money for the family. She created a fundraising page on the Children’s Organ Transplant Association page and asked for donations. She is still advertising this on Facebook today.
Amazingly, people across the globe have been making donations to this fundraising page since January 2017. While many donors have left their names and their well-wishes in the comments page, there are others who have chosen to keep their donations anonymous. Although they have not quite reached their target of raising $75,000 for the Rosko’s medical bills, at the time of writing they have managed to raise a whopping $40,000! This will take a huge amount of pressure off the family, and allow them to continue with their lives without this added stress.
But this isn’t the only way that Kiersten has tried to raise money for the Rosko family. She has joined forces with some of the family’s closest friends to create fundraising events for the whole community. In March 2017, they hosted their very own fete where they sold food, drinks, merchandise, and even offered face painting to all those who donated. During this event, they were able to raise even more vital money for the family so they could give Talia a new chance at life, without having to worry about the cost.
Continuing her fight
Today, Talia has managed to make a full recovery from her operation, and she now has Kiersten to thank for going under the knife and giving her the all-important transplant she needed to survive. While their struggles may now be over, neither Kiersten or Talia’s family are giving up their fight. They have experienced first-hand what those with organ damage suffer on a daily basis, and they don’t want anyone to go through the same thing. Because of this, they will continue to raise awareness for organ donation.