An inspiration to all
Unfortunately her health declined during the fall of her sophomore year as she battled continual infections and multiple hospitalizations. After spending a month in intensive care awaiting another liver transplant, Colleen passed away on Monday, March 4, 2013 – a week shy of her 20th birthday.
Colleen was determined not to let her illness define her. She was an inspiration to all who knew her as she courageously handled recurrent health issues due to chronic liver disease. Her medical records at Johns Hopkins over 19 years noted over 190 medical entries, including 15 operations and 41 hospital admissions.
Many admired her strength and resilience, knowing all that she went through as an infant and toddler – the liver transplant, lymphoma, chemotherapy, blood transfusions, and hospitalizations. Some didn’t know her personally but were impacted by her story, chronicled through Red Cross blood drive posters.
As a tribute to Colleen and to aid in the effort to discover the cause of biliary atresia, the liver disease she was born with, Colleen’s family has organized an annual charity event: Colleen’s BA 5K.