A one-year-old toddler, Hunter Fletcher, is fighting for his life as he battles with ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency (OTCD), a rare genetic disorder that caused the death of his older brother. The family is desperately searching for a liver transplant to give Hunter a chance at survival.
OTCD leads to the buildup of excessive ammonia in the body, which can have severe consequences on the central nervous system, including unconsciousness and death. Hunter's parents, Peter and Caitlyn, are doing everything they can to care for their son while they wait for a suitable donor. However, their search has been in vain so far.
Due to the seriousness of Hunter's condition, his diet has been restricted to small amounts of protein, and he relies on feeding tubes for sustenance. The family has been living in Berri, northeast of Adelaide, and is hoping to find a donor before Christmas.
Peter, Hunter's father, had initially planned to be the donor himself and even gave up drinking for six months to prepare for the procedure. However, they discovered that Peter was the wrong blood type, dashing their hopes. Hunter's case is particularly unique, with doctors describing it as a variant of OTCD that they have never seen before.
Caitlyn expressed the emotional toll of waiting for a donor, constantly hoping that the phone may ring with good news. The family lost their son Harvey to the same condition just three days after his birth, adding to their pain and urgency to find a donor for Hunter.
Liver transplants from deceased donors represent a significant portion of organ transplants required, according to government figures. Unfortunately, in South Australia, the number of deceased organ donors, including potential liver donors, has decreased recently.
As they continue their search, the Fletcher family will be spending Christmas at the Ronald McDonald House in Adelaide, a community service that has supported them since Hunter's birth. Time is running out, and the family is pleading for someone with a matching liver to come forward and give Hunter a shot at life.