A Pelican Rapids  student who underwent liver transplant surgery over a year ago has been facing additional challenges, the family reports. 

This fall she was in Rochester for about eight weeks, with complications and concerns of rejection of the organ.

Faith Westby, with her sister Hailey, at the microphone, thanking the audience during The Special Olympics event in Pelican Rapids in May 2017. The greater Pelican area has been kept informed on Faith’s struggles with rare medical challenges, which required a liver transplant last year. Purple has been the signature color for Faith, and this current season, Pelican Rapids Valkyries dance teams are wearing purple in honor of their fellow student. Faith is in the 10th grade at Pelican High School.

Faith, who has been the subject of local benefit events and honors through Special Olympics, had steroid and other infusions which severely weakened her immune system–similar to the affects of chemo therapy.  

Faith’s progress has been closely watched by the greater Pelican Rapids community; along with her classmates in the Pelican schools. 

Born with Kaduki Syndrome, a genetic mutation that left her with a range of health issues and learning disabilities, the Westby family learned last year that the tumors on her liver had become so threatening that she would need a liver transplant. A call with a donor came in July 7, 2017. 

Faith also contracted a bacterial infection, which they treated at the same time, reported her aunt Angie Westby, who is a teacher in the Pelican schools.  Students and staff at the school have monitored Faith’s progress and health challenges throughout her years in the school.  

 Faith was able to be home for about three weeks but last week,  they went down for a check-up and are now in the hospital because she had a fever of 101.5 and fear another infection may have set in, said Angie Westby. 

 Medical staff started treating her for a possible blood infection since she has had a PIC line in for a number of weeks. Unfortunately, Faith also tested positive for this same bacterial infection she had back in September. They feel that it never truly was resolved so they are working to find a better treatment for that as well.  

“Hopefully this doesn’t result in a long stay,” wrote Angie Westby, in an update to school staff, friends and family. “Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Faith wishes so much she could come back to school and see all of you and her friends.”

“Faith has had an eventful year in 2018,” wrote her mother, Jeannie Westby.

 “She has struggled with many bouts of liver rejection but continues to hold her head high and each battle she has won.  Due to the treatments and liver rejection she is very immuno-suppressed.  As of right now we continue to thank God for every single day…We hope that her body soon will let her liver settle in and she will be able to go back to school and continue with a normal life. She has been so blessed by the gift of life through organ donation.”