Fundraiser Today for 4-Year-Old Lawrenceville Boy with Rare Liver Disease

The event at the Ivy Inn today, Saturday June 30, will raise funds for the care of 4-year-old who just recently received a liver transplant.


When Liam Barnosky was nine weeks old, a routine doctor’s visit revealed a rare liver disease that, if untreated, would lead to liver failure.

The only sign that his parents, Jeffrey Barnosky and Jennifer Lambert of Lawrenceville, had was that Liam was slightly jaundiced, but it was nothing out of the ordinary.

Liam was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a disease that blocks the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder, slowing growth and weight gain and eventually leading to liver failure.

Just a week after diagnosis, Liam underwent a surgery to clear his liver ducts and improve bile drainage.

Still, the disease limited Liam’s activities like playing with his fraternal twin, Finn.

“We were very careful about roughhousing,” Jeffrey Barnosky said. “They're completely normal boys, and they have a good time just jumping on each other, but (Liam) could rupture his spleen, and that would be a big problem.”

Because even a common cold could land Liam in the hospital, his parents always carried hand sanitizer and were forced to postpone family trips, like Six Flags Great Adventure, where the spread of germs could be potentially dangerous for Liam. 

Although Lambert and Jeffrey Barnosky hoped the Kasai procedure that Liam underwent as an infant would prevent liver failure until he was at least 10 years old, his liver started to fail after about a year and a half.

Liam was placed on the transplant waiting list on January 4. On Wednesday, June 20, he underwent a liver transplant at Children’s Hospital of Philadelpha, receiving part of his mother’s liver.

Speaking from his son’s hospital room, Jeffrey Barnosky said the surgeries went well, although doctors will monitor Liam’s progress for any signs of rejection.

“Everything has been really successful because of his mom – the living donor,” Jeffrey Barnosky said. “Her liver was in such good shape that… right now, it’s going as well as it possibly could.”

Molly Palmer, a friend of Lambert's, has organized a fundraiser on Saturday, June 30 on behalf of the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.

The Ivy Inn in Princeton will host the fundraiser from 4-7 p.m. and monies raised will help the family recoup medical costs related to Liam’s care, although the transplant procedure itself was covered by medical insurance.

The goal is to raise $75,000, although $50,000 has already been raised, according to COTA.

Tickets cost $40 and include hors d'oeuvres, drinks and live music. Since Lambert and Liam are recovering from surgery, the family cannot attend.

Kristin R June 27, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I really love the Ivy Inn...they have done soooo many fundraisers over the years for folks in need and here's another one. Good luck Liam! I know the great people at the Ivy will do all they can to make this a really successful fundraiser...and I for one will be there...with bells on!!! Good job Ivy!!
Joe Russo June 30, 2012 at 03:02 PM
God Bless Liam and his family, and everyone who is helping this brave Lad. Don't know if this will help in any way,, but Gentium, a pharma in Lake Garda, Italy has a product called Defibrotide, which helps the Liver in transplant situations, keeps the organ's blood vessels clear, in occurences of graft vs. host disease, transplants, etc. It has been reported to be effective. I'm sure Liam's doctors are aware of this, but it's just a note for Liam's parents to inquire with his doctors. God extend his loving embrace for a rapid healing of Liam, Amen.
Joe Russo June 30, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Defibrotide has been shown to be effective in preventing, and treating Reno-Occlusive disease, (blocked liver arteries) which can occur with transplants, etc.
Joe Russo June 30, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Veno-occlusive disease.
cynthia July 01, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Ivy Inn... Simply said.... The best! Once again stepping up to help others! Continued success in all your ventures! Cindy C.


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