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Life Stories: Liver Recipient and Mom Advocated for Donation Legislation

Nicholas Sambilay Nicholas Sambilay

Liver Recipient: College Station, TX

Half Filipino and half Caucasian, Nicholas Sambilay is all boy. He loves riding his “gator” and his bike, soccer and gymnastics, and being in the swimming pool. His family loves the fact that he can enjoy all those things—and that he is alive.  

When Nicholas was only 8 weeks old, he was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a life-threatening liver condition. At just 4 months, he received a liver transplant, the gift of a 6-year-old girl and her family.

Nicholas’ mother, Heather Sambilay, volunteers with LifeGift, an organ procurement organization in Houston. When she spoke in both the Texas House and Senate to urge passage of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (2006), Nicholas was with her. When the act passed in Texas and the legislation was signed, Nicholas and his mom were again present, bearing witness to the ability of transplantation to save lives and the compassion of donors and donor families who make it possible.

Nicholas' story is courtesy of Heather Sambilay and HRSA.

When Texas passed organ donation legislation, Nicholas and his mother were present to celebrate donors and their families.


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