Moore County woman gets gift of life for Christmas

Posted December 26, 2012 9:28 p.m. EST
Updated December 26, 2012 11:54 p.m. EST

— Lana and Alana Peek didn't spend the last six weeks holiday shopping, eating Thanksgiving turkey or sitting around a Christmas tree. The Moore County mother and daughter were at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, fighting for Alana's life.

"While everybody else was out shopping and frustrated over insignificant things, we were here," Lana Peek said. 

Alana Peek, 24, suffers from Wilson's disease, a disorder in which there is too much copper in the body's tissues. She was admitted to the hospital on Nov. 10, and became critical quickly.

She needed two organ transplants, a liver – her second liver transplant in 7 years – and a kidney.

"She was real critical around Nov. 11," her mother said. "In a week's time, her liver went from being fine to 98 percent bad."

For weeks, they waited for a donor.

"They told me to call my family in and we could take it day by day. That's how close she was to death," Lana Peek said. "Not enough organs to go around, so most people die waiting on organs."

But Alana Peek didn't die. On Christmas Eve, she received the gift, or gifts, of a lifetime – a new liver and new kidney.

"I feel like I've been given the most valuable gift possible and that's life," her mother said.

Lana Peek hopes her daughter's story will encourage people to become organ donors.

"They can feel better by knowing they saved a life, not just anybody's life, but someone who has a heart," she said.

Alana Peek was recovering at UNC Hospitals on Wednesday. She is expected to remain hospitalized through New Year's Day.