Local 2-year-old with end-stage liver disease headed home; Quest for donor liver still urgent

Local 2-year-old hospitalized with serious infection; Quest for donor liver more urgent than ever

PITTSBURGH — Lucas Goeller, a local 2-year-old boy with end-stage liver disease, could be returning home as soon as Monday, his family told Channel 11's Courtney Brennan.

He received platlets and another blood transfusion Sunday night, and doctors told Lucas' family that he is now looking stable.

Lucas was hospitalized was recently hospitalized for an infection, and his family said he was showing the same symptoms he had when he previously went into respiratory failure.

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The 2-year-old, who has spent more than 18 months waiting for a life-saving liver transplant, has been continuing his battle at UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Lucas’ family said the urgent need for a new liver continues to grow.

“He got a high fever, he started breathing a little bit heavier … There was more fluid developing or starting to develop and it pushes on his lung," said Jessica Goeller, Lucas’ mother on Friday.

Members of Lucas’ family received some good news Thursday when doctors told them intravenous antibiotics Lucas had been getting were working, allowing them to perform surgery to clean out the majority of the infection.

Those close to Lucas told Channel 11 News that Lucas was at a checkup Tuesday when his medical team discovered stagnant “lakes” of infected bile and fluid in his damaged liver.

Doctors desperately worked to keep the infection confined to the liver because they don’t believe he has the strength to fight a systematic infection.

A new video was posted to YouTube Thursday in attempt to get a direct liver donation for Lucas, who needs a whole liver.

This would mean that another family would have to give their dead loved one’s liver directly to Lucas.

The family continues to ask that as many people as possible visit the Save Lucas Facebook page and SHARE THIS POST to spread the word of the desperate need for donor organs.

Lucas’ family is encouraging any family faced with the choice to say, "Yes," to organ donation.

They’re hoping a family will hear of Lucas’ fight and make a directed donation of a liver to Lucas Goeller at UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

The directed donation can happen anywhere in the country.

Jessica Goeller, Lucas’s mother, thanks everyone for their prayers and support.

“We thank God for sending us into the hospital for low sodium levels, only to find out Lucas has large bile lakes in his liver. God has given the medical team another opportunity to save his life,” she said.

Jessica Goeller said she knows a miracle is possible and thanked the community for their continued support.

"The prayers are helping. They're mainly helping our family stay strong and courageous as we try to seek out a family who would donate to Lucas,” she said.


The GNC Live Well Mile announced "Run 1 For Lucas," an opportunity for runners in Pittsburgh to dedicate their mile run on July 31 to Lucas.

The organizers hope that the event will help encourage families who are faced with the decision to say "yes" to organ donation.

For more information about "Run 1 For Lucas" click here.

To become an organ donor, visit www.DonateLife.net, and discuss your wishes with your family.

To make a direct donation to Lucas Goeller or another individual in need, inform your medical team of your request.