Regan Schoultz is an NZME news service reporter based in Auckland.

Tragic end for liver op tot

Ceena Ngaronga died last month. Photo / Supplied
Ceena Ngaronga died last month. Photo / Supplied

An Australian-based Kiwi toddler has died just two months after her aunt donated part of her liver in a last-ditch attempt to save her life.

Read more:

Dying toddler's life saved when aunt donates her liver

Ceena Ngaronga, 2, died at the Sydney's Westmead Children's Hospital after battling a rare virus.

The youngster was diagosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which causes the immune system to turn against itself and damage the patient's own tissues and organs. It was discovered after she was admitted to hospital last November.

Ceena was rushed to hospital in a critical condition where doctors told her parents, Masterton-born Dominique Ngaronga and his partner Cecile Raymundo, she would need an urgent liver transplant.

Her aunt, mother-of-two and fellow Kiwi Lacoya Finau, was a perfect match and, in an operation that took around eight hours, she donated a quarter of her liver to the little girl.

Following the transplant Ceena, who was born in Australia but whose family said was very much a Kiwi child, began showing signs of improvement and her family hoped she would recover. But her condition began deteriorating and she died on December 11.

Ceena Ngaronga, seriously ill girl from Australia who received a liver transplant from her aunt Lacoya Finau. Photo / Supplied
Ceena Ngaronga, seriously ill girl from Australia who received a liver transplant from her aunt Lacoya Finau. Photo / Supplied

There has been an outpouring of support on social media for her parents and extended family since her death was announced.

A family member wrote: "Yesterday I had to lower her body into this earth while letting her spirit rise to heaven to be with the almighty.

My heart cries for your parents but at the same time filled with joy. May your memories forever keep us at ease and let your spirit walk with our lord. Our love for you will never dwindle."

Another wrote: "We love you my baby Ceena, never forget your memory. Rest in peace."

Ceena's family did not wish to comment.

- Herald on Sunday

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