Nine-year-old Brianna, the beloved daughter of Bradley and Adriana McAnally of Gibsonton, was diagnosed at six months old with a rare liver condition called Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis (PFIC). PFIC is a disease so uncommon that a liver biopsy had to be flown to Pennsylvania and London to diagnose definitively.
Born without the liver enzyme necessary to process bile, Brianna has endured countless doctor visits and needle sticks, medications, blood work, blood transfusions, heart surgery and a liver biopsy. Along with all the medical attention she required, Brianna has lived with symptoms of severe itchiness, fatigue and visible jaundice.
“Brianna is the bravest, most courageous girl, and throughout her battle with PFIC, her unrelenting faith has never faltered,” said Adriana. “She loves God with all her heart and trusts Him with her life as no one I have ever known.”
Last September, as Brianna’s liver functions started to decline, she was placed on the national transplant list.
“January 27th, 2019 is a day we will remember for,” said Adriana.
After receiving the call, the McAnally family immediately left for Miami and headed to Holtz Children’s Hospital where Brianna would receive a liver from a deceased 13-year-old boy. On their long drive south, the family prayed for the donor’s family who had just faced a tremendous loss, they prayed for the team transporting the liver and they prayed for Brianna’s transplant team.
“By then, the prayer chains had already been set in motion, and countless messages from people praying for our little girl started coming through from South America, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Africa and all over the United States,” explained Adriana.
Brianna’s six-hour surgery was a complete success as her body accepted all of the donor’s liver.
Adriana added, “We would like to extend our gratitude to all of St. Stephen Catholic School, St. Stephen Parish and the Resurrection Catholic Church community for their continued support and abundance of prayers, which have allowed Brianna to recover so amazingly, so quickly and so well.”