Who would have thought that a baby as young as 2 hours old could save the lives of others, and live on in them for the rest of their lives?
That’s exactly what happened to baby Teddy Noah Houlston who was born with anencephaly while his twin brother Noah Teddy Houlston was healthy. Doctors learned of Teddy’s condition while still inside his mother’s womb.
Though his parents, Jess Evans and Mike Houlston, were told they had the option to terminate his life, they both decided to keep him and allow him to live for as long as he was fated to. They were told he might even be stillborn or could suffer other conditions at birth yet they held fast to their belief that he had to live.
Jess’ labor was quick – and the twins were born without problems. However, Teddy lived for only 100 minutes (less than 2 hours). Still, Jess and Mike hoped that his short life would not go in vain; thus, they discussed options for organ donation. It turns out his kidneys and heart valves could be donated, even though he was still so young. Within 20 hours after he lost his fight for life, baby Teddy saved the lives of other people.
Jess and Mike lost a baby that fateful day yet he continues to live in the lives of these people whose lives he saved.
Organ Donation from Babies
Because they are so small, many people wrongfully believe that babies could not become organ donors. That notion is wrong, however, as a baby’s organs might be small but most are already fully functioning at birth.
In the case of baby Teddy, the heart valves harvested from his body were just tissues as his heart was still too small to beat for an adult body yet his kidneys were fully functional. Though the kidneys were less than half the size of a healthy adult kidney, these can work with ease even in a much larger body. The kidneys also continue to grow in the recipient’s body and would become around three quarters of adult-sized kidneys.