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Father gets unexpected news moments before surgery to donate liver to daughter

CARLINVILLE, Ill. – A Carlinville dad was just minutes away from giving his infant daughter a liver transplant when everything changed for them at St. Louis Children's hospital.

Braylee Frankford got sick not long after she was born. She’s 19-months-old now, but was near death a year ago.

Braylee didn't have a gall bladder and doctors had to connect her intestine directly to the liver so the bile could drain. But Braylee continued to get sicker. She was rushed to Children's Hospital in St. Louis.

Doctors told Braylee’s family she wouldn't leave the hospital without a liver transplant. They waited but there were no donated livers available.

Braylee's father, Justin, decided to donate part of his liver. He was minutes away from being wheeled into surgery when they got the call that a cadaveric liver had become available. Doctors wound up saving two lives that day—Braylee's and another adult’s liver—because they were able to split the liver. One year later, Braylee is happy and healthy.