As Nikki Dodd turned 13, she had no idea a couple of weeks later she would be fighting for her life. Her liver failed and she was transported in the middle of the night from a hospital in Columbia to Barnes Children's' Hospital in St. Louis. Dodd was diagnosed with a non-transmittable form of Hepatitis, Autoimmune Hepatitis Type 2. Unlike the more common forms of Hepatitis which are communicable, Dodd's form is confined to herself.
Dodd's immune system decided her liver was a foreign object and formed antibodies to attack and destroy her liver.
"The doctor told Nikki her liver was completely destroyed," Amy Connell, Nikki's mom, said. "Dr. Jan Finney was amazing and was able to catch it in time. Because of that, they were able to treat it just enough that she is semi-stable. She still needs a transplant because the damage to her liver was too much. She also has autoimmune problems which attack other body organs such as her saliva glands and thyroid. We have almost weekly trips to the doctors in Columbia and St. Louis."
For more of this story check out the Aug. 24 issue of the California Democrat.