WAUKESHA -- Given the gift of life this Christmas. A Waukesha family says prayers for their sick infant son have been answered; he just received a vital organ donation. Normally it takes days, even years, for someone in need to receive an organ. In this case, it was mere minutes -- and as it turns out the organ came from a man who died here in Milwaukee.
Stroking her son's hair, Melody McCabe remains at her son's beside. Doctors diagnosed five-month-old Daniel McCabe with a rare liver disorder and his condition was rapidly deteriorating.
"I thought he was going to give me bad news, like really bad news," said Melody.
Instead, a life-saving message was delivered on Tuesday.
Shocked and amazed that after being on the wait list for just 40 minutes, little Daniel was getting a donor liver.
She and her husband met with doctors who later shared how remarkable the timing and procedure were.
"He would probably be in the 99th percentile of the smallest we have ever done," said Dr. Riccardo Superina, Luri Children's Hospital.
Doctors at Lurie Children's Hospital received an adult liver from a man who passed away in Milwaukee. They cut a small portion of the organ for Daniel.
The baby's family was grateful for the eight-hour procedure and felt indebted in many ways.
"The only thing I could think of at first was the poor family. I was just so sad for them. Then I was glad for Daniel. Then I felt guilty for feeling glad," said Melody.
The gesture gave Daniel a second chance at life.
"It's a miracle, divine intervention," said Daniel McCabe's father.
Since the surgery, he's getting healthier by the minute.
"This is the first time I have seen him with regular skin color, he is not yellow, he has always been yellow," said Melody.
"This is a Christmas we will obviously never forget. We are truly blessed," said Daniel McCabe's father.
Daniel's recovery is going well and he is expected to stay in the hospital for several more weeks. He wasn't the only one who benefited from the liver. The remainder of the liver was given to a patient at Northwestern Hospital.