‘Miracle baby’ celebrates anniversary of life-saving liver transplant

MADISON, Wis. — A newborn in Madison is being considered a miracle baby.

Lucas Hougam was diagnosed with congenital CMV, a virus that attacks the liver, shortly after he was born in August 2019.

He was in need of a life-saving organ transplant. The family posted an urgent plea on social media and received more than 100 offers from around the country, but none were good candidates.

Finally, Lucas found a match in his mom Jenny’s former high school classmate. She came forward to donate part of her liver, even though she lived in North Carolina.

“Someone who we hadn’t spoken to in probably 10 years, reached out to me,” Jenny Hougom said. “I remember getting the Facebook message and her saying, ‘Jenny, I think I’m going to be a match. I think I can save your son.’ I was just in complete shock.”

Lucas received his liver transplant at UW Health one year ago on Thursday. He’s believed to be the first pediatric patient to go through a transplate while still having the active CMV liver virus.