MIAMI - An 11-year-old Clearwater girl and her family are thankful to be together after she underwent a lifesaving liver transplant in a Miami hospital.
"I feel good," Victoria Rojas told reporters during a news conference Tuesday morning at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Victoria's journey to a new liver began about a year ago, after her mother noticed that her daughter's skin and eyes had turned yellow.
"The doctor called me and (said), 'We got the results, so you have to go to the hospital to do more tests,'" Mary Ann Rojas said.
Doctors said her liver was so damaged that it was equivalent to an adult who had been drinking for his or her entire life.
"She was admitted for the first time in her life with signs of what we call end-stage liver disease and literally, within that first admission, she was told she would need a transplant," Dr. Jennifer Garcia said.
Victoria's parents knew that they would have to act fast, so Victoria and her mother traveled to Miami while her father was deployed overseas working as a contractor for the military.
"I hated it," Jenaro Rojas said. "I felt very unhelpful, useless."
Now they're back together again, sharing their story and thankful that Victoria is on the road to recovery.
"My friends usually don't watch the news," Victoria said to a laughing audience. "I'm pretty sure my family does, so I wanted to say, 'Thank you,' because they helped me get through this."
Victoria will remain in the hospital for a few more weeks, but her doctors said she will make a full recovery.
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