22-Year-Old Nanny Donates Liver to 1-Year-Old Girl: 'It Seemed Like a Small Sacrifice'

Farra Rosko calls her children's nanny "a baby-whisperer," but now she has earned another moniker: life-saver

Photo: Farra Rosko

Farra Rosko calls her children’s nanny “a baby-whisperer,” but now she has earned another moniker: life-saver.

Kiersten Miles, a 22-year-old special education student, donated a portion of her liver to Rosko’s 16-month-old daughter, Talia, who has a rare disease called biliary atresia, which results in blockage of the bile ducts.

“We weren’t actively looking for a live donor. We kept it very close to the vest as a kind of defense mechanism,” Rosko, of Jackson, New Jersey, tells PEOPLE. “I couldn’t talk about it without crying, so only our close family and friends knew about it.”

Miles, who says she didn’t even know someone could donate a portion of their liver, learned that Talia had recently been put on the transplant list when she was hired as the child’s nanny in June 2016 and briefed on her health. She did more research, knowing she had a universally compatible blood type, and asked Rosko for paperwork to proceed.

“It just seemed like a small sacrifice,” Miles tells PEOPLE about her decision.

Farra Rosko

On Jan. 11, medical teams removed a portion of Miles’ liver at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) and implanted it at sister hospital Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Even the date of the surgery was meant to be, Rosko says, because “it was all 1’s, which are very spiritual, sent from God and angels.”

“Everything leading up to it, I didn’t really get nervous, but in the back of my head, I was nervous the whole time that my liver wouldn’t take to her body,” Miles says. “When they came and told me that everything was great and that I could see her in a couple of days, I just immediately started bawling. A nurse had to rush in because my heart rate raced up.”

Farra Rosko

Rosko says her daughter now seems like “a new baby,” with just a thin scar resembling a half angel wing across her belly.

“You’d never know she just had a transplant,” Rosko says. “She’s walking around, she’s playing and she’s eating like crazy! All the baby things.”

Family and friends have set up an online donor page to help with medical costs.

As Miles also recuperates, she says she is overwhelmed by the support she’s received not just from close friends and family, but also from high school classmates she lost touch with and even well-wishers around the world via her YouCaring page.

“It’s pretty amazing to be 22 and say that ‘I never thought I would help to save a life.’ ”

And Rosko agrees.

“I feel like it’s my duty now to help her in any way that I can,” Rosko says about her daughter’s young hero.

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