Ashli Taylor was born with congenital cirrhosis of the liver. As a baby, she was jaundiced and had to be fed through a nasal tube.
Her infancy was spent inside hospital rooms with plugs and cords attached to her tiny body. She needed a transplant in order to survive.
Ashli’s mother, Crystal Pope-Taylor, donated part of her liver to save her baby daughter’s life. The transfer was successfully completed at Baylor Scott & White in Dallas, Texas by Dr. Robert Goldstein. Thanks to her selfless mother and the brilliant surgeon, Ashli survived past infancy and went on to live a healthy, happy adolescence.
None of the other freshman students in Ashli’s creative writing class really knew her troubled backstory until she opened up about it during class in December 2015. For one of her assignments, she wrote a letter thanking Dr. Goldstein. It’d been 15 years since her life-saving surgery and she never got the chance to speak with him.
One day, Ashli was sitting in her theater arts class at Temple High School when a man in hospital scrubs and a ponytail walked into the room holding a bouquet of flowers. What followed was a tear-jerking moment that went viral, reminding people the importance of organ donation and human connection.
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