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Girl bounces back after transplant fears

Saying she might have needed more time for new medication to kick in, officials at a Pittsburgh hospital say Valerie Tokajer is no longer rejecting her donated liver.

Valerie might be discharged today after results of a liver biopsy performed Wednesday came back normal, Children's Hospital spokesman Dean Walters said.

"She's looking pretty good," Walters said. The biopsy "just showed that when the child actually was here, she was not experiencing rejection, it was just some inflammation. The child just probably needed more time" on the change in medication.

On Tuesday, the ailing Ellenton girl was admitted to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh _ the same hospital where she underwent a life-saving liver transplant almost eight years ago.

A biopsy was performed Wednesday on the 9-year-old, who appeared jaundiced and had a fever and a rash. These three symptoms are possible signs of inflammation and rejection, Walters said.

But at the time of the biopsy, her new medication, changed weeks ago by physicians at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, apparently had taken effect and had wiped away any signs of inflammation and rejection in her liver, Walters said.

Valerie's parents, Bill and Thea Tokajer, consider the turnaround a miracle.

"We thank everybody for their prayers," Tokajer, a Bradenton police captain, said. "That's why she did it, prayers and having faith in God."

A family friend said she might be home Saturday.

Valerie's parents became concerned last month when she appeared jaundiced.

A routine blood test revealed her liver enzyme count to be high.