Local newborn in need of lifesaving lung transplant

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A local baby is in need of a lifesaving lung transplant. Annabelle, who is 3 and a half months old, is in St. Louis fighting for her life. She was diagnosed with ABCA3 surfactant deficiency.


“She’s definitely a strong baby,” said Christen Williams, Annabelle’s mother.

Williams is by her baby’s side in St. Louis, where the infant is waiting for a transplant.

“The only cure is a lung transplant,” Williams said.

Since she was born, little Annabelle has been hooked up to ventilators.

“I know that’s her source of life right now, that’s where she is getting her strength and nutrition,” she said.

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Before she came to St. Louis, one of only a few facilities in the United States that performs neonatal transplants, doctors gave her devastating news.

“During the waiting for the genetic testing, they told us that there was nothing more that they can do for Annabelle, and that we need to consider taking her off her ventilator,” Williams said.

For more than two months they’ve been in Missouri, where Annabelle is now on the lung transplant list.

“There’s no other babies her size waiting for lung transplants at this time, so we are still hoping and praying and waiting it out,” Williams said.

It’s one of the most expensive operations – costing more than $800,000. Children’s Organ Transplant Association is helping Williams and her family raise money. And, people from all over the country are donating and praying for Annabelle.

While Williams doesn’t know when she will get that call, she is believing and hoping it will be soon.

“It can be anytime now. I have to keep my phone fully charged and on loud all the time,” she said.