AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A liver transplant at Children’s Hospital Colorado saved the life of a baby girl from Englewood.

Adorable Olivia Levaque is also known as “Little O.” On Oct. 10, she celebrated her first birthday. It’s been quite a year.

Olivia Levaque with her father (credit: CBS)

Olivia Levaque with her father (credit: CBS)

“We read all the books about becoming new parents, but it doesn’t really prepare you for something like this,” Megan Levaque, Olivia’s mother, told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

Within Olivia’s first 24 hours, Megan and her husband, Charles, learned their baby was sick.

Olivia Levaque (credit: CBS)

Olivia Levaque (credit: CBS)

“She had yellowing of the whites of her eyes and yellowing of her skin,” explained Dr. Shikha Sundaram, pediatric liver specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Surgery revealed Olivia had biliary agenesis. Sundaram describes it as a lack of formation of the plumbing of the liver.

Olivia Levaque with her father (credit: CBS)

Olivia Levaque with her father (credit: CBS)

“It is life-threatening without a liver transplant,” Sundaram said.

It was devastating for Olivia’s parents.

“We could only take care of her and hope for the best,” said Charles.

Olivia Levaque (credit: CBS)

Olivia Levaque (credit: CBS)

An emotional Megan added, “It’s not something that I tried to think about too often because I knew with all the prayers, everything would be okay.”

At 7 months, Olivia was very tiny and very yellow and needed the transplant. After 9 days on the transplant list, she had a donor liver.

According to Megan, 4 days later, “She was sitting up on her bed and smiling and happy.”

Olivia Levaque with her parents (credit: CBS)

Olivia Levaque with her parents (credit: CBS)

The Levaques got to see Olivia’s diseased liver and understand what she’d been through.

“Why she was crying,” said Charles. “Why it was hard to do certain things. It all made sense.”

These days, you would never know “Little O” was ever sick. Before long she’ll be learning her ABC’s, her parents forever grateful that she’s A-OK.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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