Firefighters decorate 14-year-old liver transplant patient’s home for Christmas

Firefighters decorate 14-year-old liver transplant patient's home for Christmas

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — A teenager who needed a transplant wished for two things for Christmas this year: a new liver and for her home to be decorated with Christmas lights.

Both of her wishes came true thanks to a family's decision to donate organs and Cherokee County firefighters.

Bella Pacini, 14, believes in celebrating Christmas in a big way every year. But her family wasn't sure if it would happen this year.

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The Cherokee County teen has been through a tough time and needed a liver transplant.

"She's been so sick, for the last year, especially," her mom Tracy Pacini said.

After a nine-month wait, someone donated their family member's organs and Bella received a new liver.

She had surgery last month at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and had one more wish before she came home from the hospital: for her home to be decorated.

"I love Christmas so much. It's the best holiday, and we always decorate our house for Christmas," she said.

Pacini's family spends most of their time caring for her and weren't sure if they could get it done in time. Before the family knew it, Cherokee County firefighters were in their yard making that wish come true.

"All she wanted for Christmas was a new liver, and for her house to be decorated for Christmas. That's something we could do, and we had a blast doing it," said Capt. Scott Gwinn.


A crew of 30 firefighters went out, bought decorations and put them up at the Pacini's home.

"That says a lot about her, asking for something so simple. She could ask for anything. She asked for lights," said paramedic Sgt. John Montague.

Bella's family said they're blessed and beyond grateful not just to the firefighters, but the family that made the decision to donate their loved one's organs.

"In the worst day of their lives, they decide to donate their loved one's organs. Because of that, Bella gets to live her life again," Tracy Pacini said.

And the girl who loves Christmas said this is one she will never forget.

“The first thing I saw was the giant Santa. It’s the first thing you see when you come up the street,” she said. “I just want to say thank you. It was the best surprise ever.”