A Philadelphia nanny has made the ultimate sacrifice by donating part of her liver to the 16-month-old child who was in her care.
Kiersten Miles, 22, was Talia Rosko's babysitter for three short weeks when she found out that the toddler had a serious disease that would be fatal if she didn't have a liver transplant, WTXF-TV reported.
What she did not know was parents George and Farro Rosko had just placed their daughter on an organ donor list just a few short weeks before they hired Kiersten in the summer of 2016.
"She was 9 months old when I started watching her. She's so helpless. She can't tell anyone what's wrong with her. She can't spread the word and ask for help," Kiersten, a college student, told the news station.
Doctors had told Talia's mother that the toddler may not live past two years old because the child's bile ducts were essentially "obliterated." This means that bile becomes trapped and damages the liver.
When Miles found out about the child's condition immediately she knew she wanted to help and began to research living organ donation, The Toronto Star reported.
"Especially for a baby who can't really ask for help, it didn't seem like that much of a sacrifice," she told the Washington Post, "because I'd be saving a life."
Miles added that she knew she would be a good candidate because of her type "O" blood, which makes her compatible with other blood types.
She talked with her own mother about it and then they prepared to tell the Roskos.
"I was nervous for some reason — I'm not sure why," she said. "I just told her I had done some research and I wanted to fill out the paperwork to see if I was a match."
Farro was a little apprehensive and asked Miles if she was sure about her decision.
"This is a serious thing," Farro said she told Miles. "This is not like donating blood."
Doctors also warned Miles about the dangers of this procedure.
"I can never donate again. So, they had to tell me in the future... so, if I have a child in a similar situation or a different one and they need a liver even if I'm a 100% percent match, I can't donate. You can only donate once," she explained.
Miles decided to go through with it and over the next several months her and Talia underwent rounds of testing to determine whether she was eligible to be Talia's donor.
Then on Jan. 11, both girls underwent a 14-hour surgery. Medical teams removed part of Kiersten's liver at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and rushed it next door to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where they implanted it in Talia.
"It's such a small sacrifice when you compare it to saving a life. Some of her doctors said she possibly wouldn't have made it past 2 years old. All I had to do was be in the hospital for a week and a 5-inch scar. I don't know, it just seemed like such a small sacrifice to me," Kiersten said.
Shortly after surgery, Kiersten asked if she could see Talia.
"I don't know if it was all the emotions building up over time, but I asked one of the surgeons if I could see Talia," Kiersten said. "He told me that I could definitely see her in the next couple of days. He said she was doing great. And when he left, I just started bawling."
"I think I was just really happy and really relieved at the same time," she added.
According to Kiersten, it was a very emotional reunion.
"It was like a movie star coming in," she said of Talia. "Even the doctors and the nurses were saying, 'Is this your live donor? Oh, my God, tell me the story.' Everybody was just so taken aback by her generosity."
Both Talia and Kiersten have recovered from surgery and Kiersten has gone back to school to finish her degree in special education.
She told the Toronto Star that the response she has received from people who've heard her story is overwhelming.
Farro believes Kiersten came into their lives at the right time.
"I think people need to know that prayer does work, angels do exist and miracles happen every day," she said. "I don't know where we would be without Kiersten."