RED BANK – Amy Berry Healy, owner of the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe, lent a helping hand to a former employee whose family is facing expensive medical bills.
Red Bank resident Bridget O’Neill, 28, worked at the shop as a teenager.
In October, O’Neill gave birth to a baby girl, Edie. Two weeks after Edie was born, doctors noticed she had jaundice. Blood tests then indicated the baby had an abnormal liver function.
Edie needed a new liver to save her life and a search for a liver donor began.
After more than 100 individuals applied to be a potential liver donor, Bridget’s cousin, Rebecca O’Neill, 23, turned out to be a match for the child.
Rebecca donated a portion of her liver on Jan. 31. Because the liver is the only organ in the human body that can regenerate, Rebecca’s liver will grow back to its normal size.
On Feb. 11, Healy recalled O’Neill as a kind teenager who worked at the chocolate shop when she was in high school. It was O’Neill’s first job and Healy said they have kept in touch on social media.
Wanting to help out her former employee, Healy said 10% of the proceeds from sales on Feb. 11 would go to the O’Neill family.
“I just thought it would be a nice opportunity to help her out as she goes through this tough time,” Healy said. “ … (The family) did a Go Fund Me effort, but (Go Fund Me) always takes out fees so I wanted to see if I could do something and give money to the family.”
As of Feb. 14, the O’Neill family’s Go Fund Me page had raised more than $60,000.
“I am really happy (the family) was able to find (a donor)” for Edie, Healy said.