Ben Stevermer (center) received a liver transplant at the age of 13 months. He is pictured with his wife Kayla and mother Sandi at a Donor Alliance recognition dinner held in Casper for the families of organ donors from Colorado and Wyoming. He and his mother were both guest speakers at the event. Photo Credit: Makayla Moore
Ben was diagnosed with biliary atresia at the age of two months. After undergoing his third Kasai procedure in an attempt to surgically bypass blocked bile ducts, Ben was put on the transplant list. In 1986, when Ben was on the list for a liver transplant, it was not only experimental, but there were only two hospitals in the United States that were capable of performing one. Recipients also had to prove they could pay for the procedure as it wasn't covered by any insurance. Ben and his mom flew from Casper to the two hospitals at the University of Pittsburgh and Omaha and then the waiting began. “It’s hard to pray for a liver for your child, knowing that someone else may be praying for their child to survive at the same moment,” Stevermer said.