Tigue noticed some alarming symptoms soon after Brodie was born, like his skin tone being off, and yellowing in his eyes. He also bruised and bled easily. After her regular pediatrician reassured her the boy was fine, a visit to a new doctor confirmed something was off.
The 3-month-old was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic's Oncology and Hematology Department, where exploratory surgery revealed he had biliary artresia, an inflammation of the bile ducts. Brodie would die without a liver transplant.
Tigue found out she was a match right away, but the transplant team was concerned that, if she donated a portion of her liver, her potentially long recovery period could interfere with caring for Brodie.
Soon, word got out that this little baby needed a live organ donor, and overnight, people lined up to see if they were a match. Tigue says about that experience, "To know that that many people are there for you to save the life of your little guy, how can you describe that? It's the good stuff. lt is the very good stuff."
Ultimately, Traci donated 30 percent of her own liver to save Brodie. The surgery lasted 10 hours, but both mom and baby came out okay.
In a video that will tug at your heartstrings we see Tigue and Brodie together for the first time post-surgery. The little guy is in his hospital bed, hooked up to tubes and monitors. Tigue tells him in a quivering voice, "We're going to get you so better, okay?" And exceeding doctor's expectations, Brodie opens his eyes, and wiggles his feet in response to his mama's voice.
"That was God's way of telling me it's gonna be alright," Tigue said. Even Dr. Hashimoto, a surgeon from their transplant team remarked, "It looked almost like her energy went into the baby."
A social media group that calls itself "Brodie's Good Vibe Tribe" has been there every step of the way to cheer on the mother and son duo. Tigue says she couldn't have gotten through this trying situation without them. But she is also beyond grateful for the opportunity she was given. "To save a life, the gift of saving a life, who can say that they have done that? Not enough of us."
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.