Tag Archives: Liver

Kearney kid competes in Transplant Games – Kearney Courier: Community Living

In the Transplant Games of America, Brendan Elam medaled in five events, silver in the high jump, and bronze in basketball, 4×400 relay, 100-meter dash and long jump.

Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2014 12:00 am

By Dave Hon

A year and a half ago, Brendan Elam had a liver transplant. He spent one Christmas in the hospital. Now, thanks to his donor, Brendan is an ordinary 12-year-old who just began seventh grade. He’s also an extraordinary boy who has competed in olympic games.

To be more accurate, he was an athlete in the Transplant Games of America, an event held every two years that allows other transplant recipients to compete while promoting the ever-growing need for organ donors in the United States. The games were July 11 to 15 in Houston.

“It was fun meeting other kids who had the same experience, getting to interact with them and becoming friends,” Brendan said.

Brendan competed in track and field events, basketball and table tennis, although he said track and field was his favorite. This semester, he plans on competing in cross country, as well as track and field, at Kearney Middle School.

“Just the field event, it’s just a lot of fun because you’re outside mostly, and basketball you’re inside a lot,” Brendan said. “That used to be my main sport, but I like track and field more.”

In track and field, Brendan competed in the 100-meter dash and a 4×400 relay. All competitors were allowed to do the high jump, long jump and softball throw. Brendan medaled in five events, earning a bronze in basketball, silver in high jump, bronze in the 4×400 relay, a bronze in the 100-meter dash and a bronze in the long jump.

“I wasn’t really able to do football before, so I mostly stuck with basketball,” Brendan said.

Jason and Stacey Elam, Brendan’s parents, said they were proud of their son.

“It’s been fun to see him turn around and be able to branch out a little bit more,” Jason said. “Before, he just didn’t have the energy to do some of that stuff.”

Brendan had the transplant because a genetic disorder caused a cirrhosis of the liver. Since his transplant, Brendan has grown six inches and gained 30 pounds.

“We look at pictures now and compare them to then, and he’s almost unrecognizable,” Jason said. “Just because of growth, and he’s filled out.”

The transplant gave Brendan more energy as well, and Brendan said that he’d never known anything other than being sick prior to receiving the new organ.

“He didn’t realize how bad he felt until he felt good,” Stacey said.

The Elams said the Transplant Games also help people become aware of the need for more organ donors. While preparing for the event, Texas added 500,000 people the registrant list. Missourians can register online at doantelife.net or by signing up when getting a driver’s license.

Jason said the need for organ donors is far reaching and high. There are 118,812 people waiting for organs, according to Transplant Games for America.

“And it depends on the region of the country you live in as well,” Jason said. “Here in the Midwest, the wait time on the list is relatively short, a couple months to a year, whereas on the coast it is more like a couple of years to five years.”

The Elams don’t know yet who donated Brendan’s liver, but they hope that someday they will be able to connect.

via Kearney kid competes in Transplant Games – Kearney Courier: Community Living.

Birmingham hospital becomes first in world to revive a liver for transplant – ITV News

– last updated Wed 27 Aug 2014

A hospital in Birmingham has become the first in the world to successfully revive a liver for a transplant using a groundbreaking new technique.

Surgeons at Queen Elizabeth Hospital successfully performed a liver transplant on Satpal Mahal after pumping oxygenated blood through the organ.

It had made a journey of more than 200 miles inside an ice box.

The seven-hour delay in transporting the organ would likely have led to the failure of the operation under normal circumstances, liver specialists said.

But after using the “warm blood” machine, the surgery team were able to transplant the liver into Mahal, 46, who had been on a waiting list for more than two months.

The pioneering operation was completed on Satpal Mahal. Credit: Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The unique process took 18 hours from the organ first being retrieved from the donor to the successful completion of the operation.

Mahal, from Walsall in the West Midlands, said he was very confident prior to the procedure even though it was a new technique, adding that he was enjoying life as a “world breaker”.

Thamara Perera led a team of 12 in completing the groundbreaking operation.

While other transplant centres have carried out the same technique on discarded livers, surgeons at Queen Elizabeth are the first to successfully transplant a revived liver graft from a donor into a patient.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where the unique operation took place. Credit: PA Wire

Pumping blood at body temperatures into organs has been found to minimise damage once they are put in cold storage where the oxygen supply has stopped.

A machine called Organ Assist pumps the blood through two blood vessels, which “revitalises” the organ by simulating the blood supply within a real body.

Surgeons said Mr Mahal’s condition after the operation was similar to any other patient receiving a traditional transplant.

Mahal, who runs his own import and export business, first experienced problems with his liver three years ago but his condition rapidly deteriorated earlier this year.

“I was very confident even though this was a new procedure,” he said.

“I knew that I was in the best place with the right physicians and staff. And I have been told that it has been very successful, so it’s a world breaker.”

via Birmingham hospital becomes first in world to revive a liver for transplant – ITV News.

Who Gets First Dibs On Transplanted Liver? Rules May Change : Shots – Health News : NPR

Surgeons at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis prepare to transplant a liver in 2010.


August 14, 2014 3:34 AM ET

Vicki Hornbuckle used to play the piano at her church. But that was before her liver started failing.

“I had to give it up because I couldn’t keep up,” says Hornbuckle, 54, of Snellville, Georgia. “I didn’t have the energy to do three services on Sunday. You’re just too tired to deal with anything. And so, it’s not a life that you want to live.”

“ Either it’s a jackpot and you have very, very easy access to a lifesaving liver — if you lived in Indiana or if you lived in Louisiana or Florida. But if you live in California or New York or New England the chances are significantly worse.
– Dr. David Mulligan, Yale University transplant surgeon
But Hornbuckle hasn’t given up. She’s fighting to stay alive long enough to get a liver transplant.

“I would like to see my grandchildren grow up,” she says. Plus, she adds, her mother is still alive, and “it’s not fair to have to bury your children. It’s not supposed to work that way.”

About 900 miles north, in East Hartford, Connecticut, Woody Wright is also on the transplant list. He’s 38 and used to work as a pharmacy technician — until his failing liver made him too sick.

“I do I feel horrible,” Wright says. “Some of my bones are hurting really bad. I’m anxious … waiting and just waiting for this liver.”

Hornbuckle and Wright are among more than 12,000 Americans waiting for a liver transplant because their own is failing, because of conditions such as hepatitis, cancer or cirrhosis. But only about 6,000 livers are donated each year. So, each year, hundreds of patients like Hornbuckle and Wright die while waiting. And not everyone has the same chance to get a liver. It depends a lot on where you live.

‘We Have This Huge Disparity.’

“Either it’s a jackpot and you have very, very easy access to a lifesaving liver — if you lived in Indiana or if you lived in Louisiana or Florida,” says Dr. David Mulligan, a transplant surgeon at Yale University. “But if you live in California or New York or New England the chances are significantly worse.”

That’s because the country is divided into 11 regions and some regions have more livers for transplant than others.

“So in the Southeast, for example, or in parts of the Midwest, where there’s a higher death rate,” Mulligan says, “there are more donor organs.”

“ I’m worried about dying before I get my new liver. Any time you have to wait behind somebody else and your life depends on it … you worry.
– Vickie Hornbuckle, transplant candidate
And the sickest patients in each region get the first crack at every liver, which means patients in the parts of the country that have the most livers don’t have to be as sick to get a transplant as people who live in other places.

“We have this huge disparity,” Mulligan says.

He chairs a committee assembled by the United Network for Organ Sharing, which manages the nation’s organ transplant system, to come up with some ideas for making the system fairer. One possibility would be to divide the country into much bigger districts — perhaps only eight or even four. That way that livers could be distributed across a much wider area, making the chances of getting one about the same no matter where you live.

“Our goal is to save lives and to be fair, and to take this scarce resource and to spread it in a way that will allow us to save lives,” Mulligan says.

But the proposal is raising a lot of concerns. Some patients in regions that currently have the most livers to offer would have to wait longer to get a transplant than they do now. That’s because more organs from their area would end up going to sicker patients in other regions.

“The impact on patients in our area would be that it would increase their likelihood of dying while waiting for a liver transplant,” says Dr. Marty Sellers, a transplant surgeon at the Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.

Sellers and others argue that a better solution is to get more people to donate livers in places that need them.

“We don’t have enough livers here in Georgia to transplant all the patients that are in need here,” Sellers say.

And some worry the change could end up backfiring by making people less willing to donate organs. Many people say they donate because they want to help someone in their community, transplant teams say.

“People who live in Texas would prefer for their organs to be transplanted into people who live in Texas rather than to go to New York or Chicago,” says Dr. Michael Charlton at the Intermountain Medical Center in Utah. “People feel like that.”

People who favor changing the system agree that more needs to be done to increase donations. But that takes time. And they dispute the idea that rejiggering priorities would end up costing lives.

“There are patients that are currently receiving liver transplants that could easily wait a little longer so that patients who don’t have the option to live can live,” Mulligan says.

When you ask patients about this, how they feel tends to depend on where they live.

“I don’t think it’s fair how they’re doing it right now,” says Woody Wright in Connecticut. “You should not take it all for yourself. Share it around,” he urges. “Let it be fair. There are a lot of sick people out there.”

But Vicki Hornbuckle in Georgia isn’t convinced.

“I’m worried about dying before I get my new liver,” she says. “Any time you have to wait behind somebody else and your life depends on it … you worry.”

UNOS is holding a public hearing in Chicago on Sept. 16 to discuss how best to distribute the limited supply of livers for transplantation.

via Who Gets First Dibs On Transplanted Liver? Rules May Change : Shots – Health News : NPR.

As ‘one-in-a-billion’ child nears transplant, her mother is met with a health crisis and an outpouring of kindness – LancasterOnline: Local News

Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 11:45 am | Updated: 3:58 pm, Mon Aug 11, 2014.

Donya McCoy is accustomed to fighting on behalf of her daughter.
But a couple of weeks ago, she found herself in a fight for her own health.

McCoy, of Elizabethtown, is the mother of Kennedy Stevenson, a 3-year-old girl who is just one of eight people in the world with an extremely rare metabolic disorder called S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase deficiency, or AdoHcy.
Kennedy is, as her mother likes to say, “literally one in a billion.”

When a Lancaster Newspapers story ran detailing Kennedy’s condition, and her mother’s quest to get medical care for her daughter, readers responded with a generosity that McCoy called humbling.

The offers to help Kennedy came just as McCoy was hospitalized with sepsis, a serious blood infection.
Girl’s story ‘struck my heart’

One woman, who doesn’t have a computer, called Lancaster Newspapers to find out how she could get a $50 check to McCoy.
A Lancaster County man, who asked to remain anonymous, donated $1,000 to a GoFundMe account set up by McCoy, to help with the expenses of caring for Kennedy after she undergoes a planned liver transplant at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Kennedy’s story “just struck my heart,” the man said, in a phone interview, noting that he doesn’t have a lot of money, but “for some reason, that hit me right between the eyes.”
“I wish I could give more,” he said. “I know it’s never enough.”
Two other readers came forward, asking if Kennedy still needed a liver donor.

Janet Tate, a registered nurse employed as a supervisor at Mennonite Home Communities, said she shares Kennedy’s blood type — O-positive — and would be willing to be tested as a donor.
She said she was moved by McCoy’s tenacious efforts on behalf of Kennedy.

“My grandson has cystic fibrosis,” she said. “I know how moms especially can really be involved in caring for their kids. … If there was anything at all that I could do, I wanted to do it.”
‘Best chance’

A friend of McCoy’s will be tested first to see if he can be a donor for Kennedy.

The little girl’s brain development, her muscles, her nervous system and her liver all have been impacted by her metabolic disorder.

She now can walk and run and say a few words, but her development has been significantly delayed.
Her physician, Dr. Kevin A. Strauss at the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, said he believes that a liver transplant will give Kennedy’s brain “the best chance to develop.”
Because of her enzyme deficiency, she’s now strictly limited to 20 grams of vegetable or fruit protein a day; her restricted diet keeps her on the brink of malnutrition.
Kennedy will be going to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh later this month for a battery of tests to see if she’s strong enough for a liver transplant.

Kennedy would be the first person with her disorder to undergo a liver transplant.

Gearing up for ‘warrior mode’
The stress of her long journey to get Kennedy to this point caught up with McCoy on July 27, when she was hospitalized with a kidney infection that went into her bloodstream.
McCoy spent six days, on intravenous antibiotics, at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

In dozens of interviews, McCoy never once mentioned that she has lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that can be exacerbated by stress.

She explained later that she wanted the focus to remain on Kennedy.

“The fact that I haven’t flared sooner is pretty incredible,” she said matter-of-factly. “I really feel God did this – he forced me to take a break, or I wasn’t going to survive (Kennedy’s transplant). … I didn’t have any fight left.”
Kennedy was with her father, Nicholas Stevenson, while McCoy was hospitalized.

“She was having a lot of fun with her daddy,” McCoy said.
When McCoy was released from the hospital, her husband Josh confined her to the couch. She needed rest, he told her, adding, “I need you to go into warrior mode. You have one more big battle.”

McCoy said she just wants to get Kennedy “on the other side” of the transplant.

“I have to get strong and be strong for her,” she said.
On Monday, she said she was recovering well.
She said she was “so grateful” to everyone who had donated money, offered prayers, and had sent their good wishes for Kennedy.

Among them was a member of the Elizabethtown Moose Lodge, who told McCoy that the lodge’s Moose Riders would be taking part in the “Ride for Kennedy,” a benefit motorcycle ride that will be held Saturday, Aug. 30.

“Every little bit has restored my faith in humanity, that people care about and think about our little girl,” McCoy said. “She’s just so special and she just doesn’t even know it.
“We are so touched by all of it.”

Kennedy, she said, is “inspiring people, and I’m just so proud to be her mom.”

The “Ride for Kennedy” will begin and end at Jagged Edge Body Works, 505 N Market St., Elizabethtown. Registration will be from 9-11 a.m., and then it will be kickstands up at 11. The cost is $20 per rider, including a pig roast after the ride concludes.

The GoFundMe account for Kennedy is at http://www.gofundme.com/SavingKennedy

As ‘one-in-a-billion’ child nears transplant, her mother is met with a health crisis and an outpouring of kindness – LancasterOnline: Local News.

Young transplant recipients embark on four-day weekend at Camp Chihopi | Local News – WTAE Home

Now in its 20th year, Camp Chihopi gives patients of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh who have had liver or intestine transplants a chance to enjoy the outdoors.

See the video here.

via Young transplant recipients embark on four-day weekend at Camp Chihopi | Local News – WTAE Home.

Organ transplant recipients star in Ogden run


Standard-Examiner correspondent

OGDEN — Last year, Hayden Cullimore attended the annual Dash for Donations 5K in a wheelchair.

This year, the 9-year-old liver transplant recipient ran full speed to the finish line.

“This is the first race I am going to run since my transplant,” Hayden said before the event Saturday. “I wanted to run this year to show my family how strong I am now. I’m also running in honor of my donor and their family to tell them thank you.”

Hayden, who suffered with biliary atresia, received a donor liver last summer. Hayden, along with dozens of other participants, walked or ran in honor of the people whose lives have been affected by organ donation.

The event, sponsored by Intermountain Donor Services, raises both money to support education efforts and to maintain Utah’s Celebration of Life Monument, said Alex McDonald, director of public education and public relations for Intermountain Donor Services.

While people can register individually, most created teams in honor of a loved one who gave the gift of life or to celebrate the life of a recipient.

Ten-year-old Evan Kraaima, who received a new liver four months ago, also participated in the race, crossing the finish line with more energy than he’s had in years.

Alex Douthett was 2 months old when he received a heart transplant that saved his life. Now 19, he said he is very grateful to be alive.

Steve Bird, who formed a team in honor of his donor, shared how a liver transplant saved his life nearly 11 years ago.

Nationally, there are over 123,000 people waiting for a life-saving transplant, said Dixie Madsen, public education coordinator for Intermountain Donor Services. In Utah, and nationwide, the number continues to grow.

Hayden said he’s thankful to have received a new liver so he can continue to live a happy and productive life.

“I feel so much better and I’m not tired and sick like I always used to be,” he said. “Organ donation means that someone chose to give their liver to me so I can stay alive and live my life like a normal kid. I hope that everyone will be an organ donor and want to save lots of other kids like me.”

For more information regarding organ, cornea and tissue donation, or to register on the Yes Utah Donor Registry, log on to www.yesutah.org.

via Organ transplant recipients star in Ogden run.

Liver transplant boy Joseph Walton to go for gold in British Transplant Games | Hull Daily Mail

By Hull Daily Mail  |  Posted: August 03, 2014

By Lucy Leeson

BOUNCING BACK: Seven-year-old Joseph Walton with his dad Neil. Picture: Jerome Ellerby

A YOUNG East Yorkshire boy who underwent a life-saving liver transplant when he was just eight months old is to compete in the Transplant Games.

Seven-year-old Joseph Walton is looking forward to the experience of a lifetime when he competes in the running, obstacle and badminton events at the games held in Bolton from August 7.

Joseph was diagnosed with the rare genetic condition Kabuki syndrome, which affects one in 32,000 babies.

The condition led to him needing a liver transplant when he was eight months old.


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Joseph’s adoptive mother, Diane, said: “When he was born, Joseph had a lot of trouble with his liver and various other problems.

“It was literally by chance that his doctor had been reading about Kabuki syndrome and recognised some of the symptoms Joseph was showing.

“She really stuck her neck out and said she thought Joseph had Kabuki syndrome, and following various tests, it was confirmed.”

Joseph had his life-saving liver transplant and responded well to his treatment.

He was adopted by Diane and her husband Neil when he was three years old.

However, just two months later, the couple, of Aldbrough, faced the prospect of losing Joseph, when his body started to reject his liver.

Diane said: “It was an absolutely terrible time for us all.

“We had only just got him and then we were faced with the prospect of losing him.

“He was in and out of hospital for about a year, until doctors managed to get his liver functioning properly.”

Although Kabuki syndrome means Joseph has some development delay, he leads a relatively normal life.

“He is so full of beans – it is fantastic,” Diane said.

“This is the first year he has been well enough to go to the Transplant Games.

“Any transplant patient is more susceptible to infections and in previous years Joseph hasn’t been well, so now he is even more excited.”

The British Transplant Games will be held in Bolton from August 7–10. First held in 1978, the games are staged annually and celebrate competitors and supporters who have been directly affected by organ transplantation.

Joseph’s dream of taking part in the games has been made possible thanks to the charity Leeds Little Livers, which raises money for children who have undergone life-saving operations, to take part in sporting events.

Diane said: “The games are self-funded, so as a team we are constantly organising events to raise money

“It takes about £60,000 per year to fund the Little Livers Team, so every penny and bit of publicity we can get is greatly appreciated.”

As well as raising money by hosting various coffee mornings and charity football matches, the Aldbrough Carnival will return this month after a 17-year absence to raise money for Leeds Little Livers.

The carnival will take place on Monday, August 25, and will feature a host of attractions.

Diane said: “It will be a fantastic day and a great opportunity to say thank you to everyone who helped send Joseph to the games.”

via Liver transplant boy Joseph Walton to go for gold in British Transplant Games | Hull Daily Mail.

Liver transplant in children – The Times of India

TNN | Jul 31, 2014, 03.31PM IST

The first human liver transplant operation was carried out on an adult in the USA in 1963. The first liver transplant on a child took place five years later. In India, first successful paediatric liver transplant happened in 1998.

When do children need liver transplant: Common indications in children are cholestatatic liver diseases. Cholestatic liver disease is a condition in which a specific bilirubin called conjugated (direct) bilirubin remains persistently high. Biliary atresia is a condition in which the tiny tube connecting the liver and the small intestine is missing. As a result of which bile, which excretes bilirubin, does not reach small intestine and the child becomes jaundiced. Biliary atresia is the most common indication for liver transplant in children. It is also the most common condition requiring liver transplant in the first year of life. The other conditions include acute liver failure from multiple causes, metabolic conditions involving the liver like Wilson disease, cystic fibrosis, some glycogen storage disease, tumours in children and other diseases causing chronic liver disease.

The surgery: Liver transplantation is a major form of surgery. It is considered when other forms of treatment are ineffective or when a child can no longer lead a good quality of life. The aim of liver transplantation is to return a child/ to health with an improved quality of life. Childhood vaccinations are expedited if not administered yet. If the baby/child is malnourished then extensive nutritional rehabilitation is done before the transplant. A donor also has to undergo various tests to judge the suitability for transplant. After all these, a liver transplant is performed. The surgery can last between 8- 12 hours.

After surgery: The child is then shifted to a liver ICU. This allows your child to rest completely after the operation and be closely monitored over this critical period with close monitoring. The stay is variable but generally is between 1-2 weeks. He /she is then shifted to ward for further care. The duration of stay is variable but generally the child is discharged before three weeks. The child needs to be on medicines on a daily basis so that the body does not reject the new liver. After discharge it is time to return to a ‘normal’ life.

Success rate: With newer surgical techniques and better anti-rejection medicines the immediate success rate is in the high 90s.

By — Dr Rajeev Tomar, Senior Consultant-Paediatrics, Fortis Hospita, Noida

via Liver transplant in children – The Times of India.