Siblings host lemonade stand to encourage organ donation
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Abby Baker is turning life’s lemons into lemonade.
The eight-year-old Mankato resident was busy pouring glasses with her brother, Austin, Sunday to raise money and awareness for a special cause.
“It’s for my mom. She got a new heart and liver,” Abby said.
Their mother, Amy, is recovering from two organ transplants after contracting COVID-19 twice last year.
“She did work at CVS. She’s worked there for quite a few years,” Austin explained. “She works as a pharmacy tech back there, and then during the COVID pandemic, she was going into nursing homes and other frontline areas giving vaccines to people.”
Amy has been in and out of the hospital since Feb. 2, when complications from the virus put her in the ICU.
“She had an underlying heart condition that was exacerbated due to COVID,” Austin added.
She coded in early March after her lungs filled with fluid.
Doctors were able to save her, but it wasn’t the only time she came face-to-face with death.
“There have been many moments where we thought we were gonna lose her,” Austin stated.
On March 20, she was life-flighted back to Mayo Clinic.
“She rode on a helicopter to get there,” Abby said.
Amy needed a new heart and, due to complications with antibodies, she needed a liver too.
She was put on the transplant list and received both organs just nine days later.
She also gave one away.
“She successfully was able to give her liver to somebody else,” Austin mentioned.
The organs have given Amy a new chance at life.
She moved out of the ICU Tuesday but remains in the hospital.
Mayo requires transplant recipients to stay in Rochester for three months post-surgery.
“Hopefully in the next week or two, she’ll be able to go to a halfway house or apartment,” Austin added.
Bills and living expenses have stacked up during her lengthy medical journey.
The money from the lemonade stand will help cover the costs, but Abby and Austin say there’s a more important way to give.
They encourage people to donate life.
“Because you can live longer now and you won’t die,” Abby explained.
A GoFundMe has been setup to support the Baker family.
A benefit will also be held July 9 at VFW Post 950 in Mankato from 1 to 7 p.m.
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