A 18-month-old Canberra girl has become one of Australia’s youngest organ donors, after her unexpected death on Boxing Day.

Ezabella ‘Bella’ Wilson died at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and her aunt Hailee McArdell said Ezabella had left behind “the best gift that could save someone else’s life”, after her heart was able to be donated to another child.

In a recent interview with the ABC, Hailee said that her niece was a “happy and amazing little girl, despite being born with severe health conditions.”

Ezabella was born with a rare form of chromosome deletion disorder and also diagnosed with Tracheoesophageal Fistula (TOF), which meant she was unable to swallow.

“She spent a fair amount of time in the hospital after being born, she had an operation on day one of her life … to attach her oesophagus to her stomach,” Hailee said. “But even with all of that, she was always happy and everyone just loved her.”

“She had three surgeries in her short little life and that was always in Sydney,” she said.”As far as I’m aware there are only about 50 children in the whole world that have been diagnosed with this particular chromosome deletion.  I have three sisters, we all have children and no-one ever expects this to happen to your own family.”

Hailee explained to the ABC that Ezabella’s condition had not been expected to deteriorate so rapidly, despite the fact that Ezabella was always slightly unwell.

She said that after attending a routine doctor’s appointment the paediatrician admitted her to hospital after Ezabella became slightly unwell on the night of December 21.

Hailee explained further that after Ezabella was admitted her condition deteriorated very quickly throughout the day and her heart stopped before she could be transferred to a higher care hospital.

After doctor’s managed to restart her heart, Ezabella was placed on life support where she remained for the next few days while doctors tried to save her life.

Hailee described the hard decision that Ezabella’s parents had to make when Ezabella’s condition deteriorated further

“On Boxing Day, [Ezabella’s parents] Naomi and Nick sat us all down and said that it was time to say goodbye, this would be the last time we ever see Bella,” she said. “I lay my head on her chest and her little heart was beating so it didn’t feel right saying goodbye.It never felt real and it was really hard to leave that day knowing it would be the last time.”

Hailee told the ABC that the family had already made the decision to donate Ezabella’s organs if the worst should happen, and a day after she died her heart was given to another child.

“For me I feel like it wasn’t all for nothing, she was saving someone else’s life,” she said.”And I think it would have been the nicest gift to get on Boxing Day, to hear that your child will be receiving a healthy heart.  I like to think that’s the best gift Bella could have given.”


Image source: Instagram

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  • so sad so young. So lovely they made the choice to donate too.


  • Heartbreaking to read this story but I’m sure there is some comfort to Bella’s parents that through their loss other families have gained back their children.


  • I read this story in Thats Life! What an amazing little girl.


  • Its heartbreaking what this little girl had to go through but at least get memory will forever go on with the people she helped save.


  • So many parents take it for granted that they have a healthy, happy baby. I cannot even contemplate what little Bella went through during her young all too short life. Life can be so cruel. Also her parents and other relatives must have been devastated by the initial diagnosis.
    I hope her parents are offered counselling. They may decide agains it now, but may need it in the future.


  • What a sad story. Poor Bella! :-( Nice she could save the life of another child with her heart. A gorgeous heart for sure.
    I’ve never heard of that condition before.


  • Heartbreaking for the family and sending them every sympathy at their sad loss of their precious child. Donating her organs is a truly remarkable and loving act and displays such a wonderful spirit and their child’s legacy will live on in the gift of life. Beautiful child and beautiful family.


  • What a terrible thing to go through.
    Bless them for donating her organs to save other people


  • Such a brave and hard decision for the family to make. I truly hope the recipients take the time to show appreciation for the wonderful gift of life they have received.


  • What a beautiful gift to be given


  • That precious little angel, too beautiful for this earth. May she always watch over her family and the lucky child who has receive Bellas heart of gold. Brave parents to make such a difficult decision.


  • So sorry for your loss but it was lovely your daughter was able to save someone else’s child! ❤️❤️


  • What a lovely gift to others who need it – heartbreak for the family, but also a special feeling that their actions have saved someone else. Thanks for sharing the story.


  • A beautiful gift and knowing that her heart will be beating again hopefully helps in some way. Reading stories like this makes me realise how lucky my husband is to have survived so far with TOF. He had a tube placed in his stomach and when the operations were done had to learn at 18 months how to swallow. It is never easy saying goodbye to someone so young.


  • yes the best gift is the gift of life. thankyou and your daughter.


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