Tag Archives: Intestine

Middletown teen recuperating after organ transplant – The Middletown Press

By Kathleen Schassler, The Middletown Press


Navaiah Fulk, a student at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Middletown, prepares to have an operation to replace her small intestine at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital on Dec. 5. Courtesy Kailani Gadlin

MIDDLETOWN>> A Middletown teen recuperating from transplant surgery celebrated her 14th birthday on Tuesday, 11 days after receiving a small intestine and a chance at renewed health.

“We are witnessing a miracle,” said her mother, Kailani Gadlin, on Wednesday.

Her daughter, Navaiah Fulk, 14, is no stranger to hospitals. Born with gastroschisis, a birth defect of the abdominal wall, she was just a year old when she underwent her first transplant surgery that offered a new liver and small bowel.

Babies with gastroschisis have intestines that stick outside of the baby’s body, through a hole beside the belly button. The hole can be small or large and sometimes other organs, such as the stomach and liver, can also protrude.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1,871 babies are born each year in the United States with gastroschisis.

Navaiah regained health after the 2002 transplant, remaining stable for about 18 months. In 2004, she developed chronic organic rejection of the small bowel, related to enteral tube feeding, according to Gadlin.

In January 2011, Navaiah’s health took another turn for the worse after a bowel obstruction required emergency surgery. A portion of her transplanted bowel was lost, Gadlin said.

For the past three years, Navaiah has spent most of her time in and out of hospitals, with little time at home with her family, according to her mother.

Last November, Navaiah was again added to list of the United Network for Organ Sharing, as the family awaited the news that recently arrived.

Navaiah was “strong and in great health” going into transplant on Dec. 5, said Gadlin, a Torrington native.

A student at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, Navaiah gets support from friends and staff at local schools and the larger community. While Navaiah underwent surgery, her mom took to social media to ramp up support for her young daughter. She requested that photos with the hashtag #teamnavaiah be posted on their Facebook page, Happy Hearts and Hugs for Navaiah.

Many in the community responded, including the city’s police department, helping to boost the teen’s spirits, her mom said. Care packages and photos from local students also have been mailed to Navaiah at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Pediatric Transplant Unit, in Washington, D.C.

While Kailani stays with Navaiah in D.C., her husband, Larry Gadlin, remains in Middletown caring for daughters, Gabrielle, 10, and Rebecca, 7, both students at Farm Hill Elementary School.

The family continues to be positive as they deal with the stress of Navaiah’s 14-year medical journey, and the financial burdens that go along with it. Kailani Gadlin is unemployed and caring for her daughter, and Larry Gadlin, a New Britain native, is also out on workmen’s compensation while recuperating from shoulder surgery after an injury, he said.

Kailani Gadlin will remain in D.C. with her daughter, likely through February or longer, she said. Navaiah will continue to recuperate for several weeks at the hospital, and will then be transferred to a nearby Ronald McDonald House, where her medical team can “keep her close” while following the procedure protocol that involves regular blood infusions of cytogam, medication to support her immune system, several times a week, Gadlin said.

“She’s survived so much,” said Gadlin. “She’s a fighter.”

Her mother credits the girl’s “amazing” transplant team at Georgetown, as well as a “really great [gastrointestinal team] at Connecticut Children’s Hospital” in Hartford that has cared for Navaiah since birth, she said.

Gadlin sees some light at the end of the tunnle now, grateful knowings that there are “others that have it much worse,” she said.

To contribute to Navaiah’s transplant fund, visit gofundme.com/navaiah.

For updates and more, visit Navaiah’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HappyHeartsAndHugsForNavaiah

via Middletown teen recuperating after organ transplant.

Saving Sam: 10-Year-Old Waiting For Life-Saving Organ Transplant | WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio

By Glenn McEntyre

Wednesday November 12, 2014 6:24 PM

UPDATED: Wednesday November 12, 2014 6:42 PM

GALLOWAY, Ohio – A Galloway family is facing the heartbreaking prospect of what could be their final holiday season with their 10-year-old son.  Earlier this year, 10TV introduced you to Sam Williams, a boy who has been fighting to survive since birth.  He needs an organ transplant to save his life.  The approaching holidays could be the best time to consider the gift of life.

Sam Williams has more spirit and personality than a 10-year-old’s body can contain.

But his body is failing him and just a few minutes of the fantasy of living like a carefree boy leaves him breathless.

We first met Sam in April, soaking up the joy of a spring day.  The days of playing outside with his friends are now gone.  “I want to play with them outside, but I don’t have the energy,” said Sam on Wednesday.

Sam was born with his intestines outside of his body.  More than 30 surgeries, including a liver transplant in 2005, only delayed a terrible chain reaction of organ failure.

“His liver is not functioning properly either, with his now also causing his lung function- doesn’t work properly. And what’s most affected now is his heart,” said his mother.

Leaving Sam and Mallory Williams’ little boy tethered to an oxygen tank 24 hours a day and no longer able to go to school with his friends.

“We were told at the end of July that he probably wouldn’t be here in years’ time,” said his father, for whom Sam is named.

His only hope is a new liver and small bowel via organ transplant.  The Williams know Sam’s solution will come at a terrible cost for another mother and father.  “A child his size would have to die – a healthy child – in order to save his life,” said Sam Sr.

At the tender age of 10, Sam knows too well the reality of his situation.

“It was said, you know, 1,500 people die a year waiting for a transplant,” said Mallory. “And (Sam) made a comment and said ‘I really hope I’m not one of them.’ He just waits for that phone call. And I think he’s starting to lose hope.”

Hope, in this house, is growing hard to come by.

“I don’t want him to be one of those numbers,” said Mallory, through tears.

Every parent has dreams for their child.  For the Williams’, those dreams are starkly simple: one phone call that could change everything.

Asked whether he believes that call will come, Sam said, with a laugh, “I hope. That would be a celebration for me. A three-day party.”

Sam is one of more than 3,300 Ohioans waiting for an organ transplant.  Every 48 hours, one of them dies.

Lifeline of Ohio urges all of us to take advantage of the holidays to discuss organ donation with your loved ones, and make your wishes known.

via Saving Sam: 10-Year-Old Waiting For Life-Saving Organ Transplant | WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio.

Scientists create fully functional ‘organoids’ of human intestines – Medical News Today

Last updated: 

Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have used induced pluripotent stem cells to grow “organoids” of fully functioning human intestines. Having successfully transplanted these organoids into mice, the team says their findings could one day lead to the creation of personalized human intestinal tissue for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases.

Researchers say the development of fully functional intestinal organoids could lead to personalized treatments for gastrointestinal diseases.

The Cincinnati Children’s team, led by Dr. Michael Helmrath, surgical director of the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program at the hospital, publish their findings in the journal Nature Medicine.

Drawn from adult cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have the ability to change into any type of body tissue. In this study, Dr. Helmrath and his team used human adult cells from skin and blood samples to develop “blank” iPSCs. The researchers then added the iPSCs to a distinct “molecular cocktail” that encouraged them to turn into intestinal organoids – miniature structures that resemble intestines.

The team then transplanted the organoids into the kidneys of mice with genetically modified immune systems that allowed them to accept human tissues. The organoids were able to gain the optimal amount of blood to develop into mature human intestinal tissue.

According to the researchers, each mouse produced high levels of fully functional human intestinal tissue. The organoids grew and multiplied by themselves once they were attached to the kidneys.

“The mucosal lining contains all the differentiated cells and continuously renews itself by proliferation of intestinal stem cells,” says Dr. Helmrath. “In addition, the mucosa develops both absorptive and digestive ability that was not evident in the culture dish. Importantly, the muscle layers of the intestine also develop.”

Potential to eliminate lifelong medication and transplant rejection

The researchers say these findings could pave the way for personalized treatments for individuals with gastrointestinal disorders or reduced digestive function as a result of other conditions.

A patient’s own cells could be used to create intestinal tissue, which could then be transplanted. This could potentially prevent transplant rejection and eliminate the need for lifelong medications.

Commenting on the findings, Dr. Helmrath says:

“This study supports the concept that patient-specific cells can be used to grow intestine. This provides a new way to study the many diseases and conditions that can cause intestinal failure, from genetic disorders appearing at birth to conditions that strike later in life, such as cancer and Crohn’s disease. These studies also advance the longer-term goal of growing tissues that can replace damaged human intestine.”

The researchers stress, however, that it will be many years before this concept is used in medical practice.

But they note that it could have immediate benefits, such as boosting the development of new drugs. Organoids developed in laboratories could replace the need for animal models bred to mimic human disease. Testing in these models often presents problems; some drugs that are effective in mice, for example, may not be effective in humans.

The researchers say that having the ability to test drugs in models of human organs “could shave years” off the drug development process.

via Scientists create fully functional ‘organoids’ of human intestines – Medical News Today.

Teenager wins gold in British Transplant Games | News in Maidenhead | Get The Latest Maidenhead Advertiser News

11:05 Saturday 16 August 2014 Written by Katherine Denham

Stuart Robbins, 15, developed a condition called volvulus, where the intestine is twisted, when he was just 15-days-old.

For years he had to be fed intravenously and suffered various complications, including regular bouts of kidney stones, which caused him a great deal of pain.

In April 2009 – at the age of nine – he was given a small bowel transplant by Birmingham Children’s Hospital which saved his life.

Since the operation he has been well enough to compete against thousands of other former transplant patients from hospitals around the UK at the British Transplant Games, and this year he won the gold in badminton and the silver in table tennis in the 15-17 age group.

His dad, Paul, 54, said: “If Stuart hadn’t had the transplant then life would have gone downhill very rapidly because he couldn’t eat as much as he needed.

“Since the operation he has gone from strength to strength.

“He has had a few setbacks but he has overcome them and moved on.”

Mum, Joanne, and dad, Paul, travelled with Stuart from their home in Beverley Garden, Pinkneys Green, to Bolton so he could compete in the games on Sunday.

The dad-of-two said: “It’s very important to raise awareness of organ donation because there are thousands of people still on the list and three people pass away every day for not being able to receive a transplant.”

Stuart, who is studying for his GCSEs at Furze Platt Senior School and plays badminton and table tennis at SportsAble in Braywick Road, said: “It was a great experience and I feel really happy about getting the gold.

“It means a lot because a few years ago I couldn’t even take part in sport and now I can.

“I’m happy because my life is now mostly normal and I can do normal things.”

Stuart is also hoping to be selected for the World Transplant Games in Argentina where he would be the first small bowel transplant patient to compete.

A former kidney transplant patient has won a gold medal for tennis in the British Transplant Games.

Mike Grundy, 67, suffered kidney failure and had been on dialysis for five months before he was given a new kidney in 2008.

Although the transplant was carried out by surgeons from the Oxford Transplant Centre, over the years his progress has been monitored by the Royal Berkshire Hospital, which is closer to his home in Cadogan Close in Holyport.

The tutor for the Workers Educational Association (WEA) represented the Royal Berkshire Hospital in the games held on Sunday, and won the medal in the over 60s age group.

He also won the silver medal for tennis in the 2013 World Transplant Games held in South Africa.

via Teenager wins gold in British Transplant Games | News in Maidenhead | Get The Latest Maidenhead Advertiser News.

Centraljersey.com | Central Jersey Community Newspapers, News, Entertainment, Sports, Resturants, Everything in Central Jersey

DATE POSTED: Thursday, July 31, 2014 2:46 PM EDT

By Jennifer Kohlhepp,Managing Editor

HAMILTON — Alexander Cuevas was born prematurely on March 12, 2009 so his immune system was not quite ready to fight off an infection that would change his family’s life.

Shortly after his birth, he contracted necrotizing enterocolitis, an infection common among premature infants that attacks and kills tissue in the intestines.

Many children manage to overcome the infection and move onto healthy lives. Alexander’s case was particularly severe. He eventually managed to beat it, but not before a surgeon had to remove his entire colon and the majority of his small intestine.

Nowadays, he receives the majority of his nutrition from Total Parenteral Nutrition rather than from food. While this method has allowed him to grow, play, and even begin school like a normal 5-year-old boy, it is not a permanent solution. The longer he relies on it, the more likely he is to suffer dangerous infections and complications. “We go to the hospital pretty frequently, every three to four months,” his mother Anivel Rivera, said. “He gets dehydrated and it gets to the point where we can’t manage it at home and he needs (intravenous) fluids and antibiotics.”Alexander has been evaluated and added to the national transplant list. A transplant surgery will allow him to live a near-normal life and digest food the traditional way. His family anxiously awaits the call saying Alexander’s organs are available.

“Every day is different,” his mother said. “Some days I’m in tears because I can’t believe this is what we’re dealing with and other days I take inspiration from him. If he can deal with all of it, so can I. We’re basically waiting for the intestinal transplant. It’s the latest organ to be approved for transplant and there’s a lot of risk with the transplant. Alone, knowing that is very difficult.”

The surgery will take place at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, which is the top hospital in the country for this procedure. While risky, it could be a miracle for little Alexander.

This surgery costs $2 million dollars on average. Even after insurance, the costs will add up for years to come. Alexander will need to be near the hospital in Pittsburgh for checkups for nearly one year after the surgery, and will need immunosuppressant drugs for life.

Since these costs are so daunting, his family is asking the community to help raise $50,000 through Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) for Alexander’s medical expenses.

“People should consider donating to this cause because this type of emergency that could have happened to any child,” COTA Public Relations Coordinator Emma Yasinksi said. “No family is prepared for the toll this can take on them both emotionally and financially. Little Alexander deserves a chance at a healthy life and this transplant will give him that chance. COTA exists because families with children who need transplants need support from their communities. No family should have to go through it alone.”

Ms. Rivera said, “We have to be prepared to stay in Pittsburgh for six months to make sure he doesn’t reject the organ and we’ll need to have a home to come back to so we’ll have to keep paying the mortgage. We have to figure out how we’re going to live out there. These are things insurance doesn’t pay for.”

COTA is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses. One hundred percent of all funds raised are used for patients’ transplant-related expenses.

“We will be hosting many fundraisers throughout the year,” Ms. Yasinski said. “People interested in keeping up with them can follow cotaforalexanderc.com or the facebook page ‘Alexander’s Adventure-ACOTA5k.’”

The upcoming fundraisers for Alexander include Burger Mania, where COTA will host a booth with games and information this Saturday. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/BurgerManiaCookOff.

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, On the Border next to Marketfair Mall will be donating 10 percent of its proceeds from patrons carrying Alexander’s flier to COTA.

“Our biggest event planned to date is the 5K,” Ms. Yasinski said. “Alexander’s Adventure — A COTA 5K will be a Halloween-themed, costume-friendly 5K held in Mercer County Park on Sunday, Oct. 26. A signup page will be posted soon. We are still looking for sponsors.”

Individuals and groups interested in more information can contact COTA Community Coordinator Anthony Mango at 609-356-6771 or anthonymango55@gmail.com.

Donations may be mailed to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, Indiana, 47403. Checks or money orders should be made payable to COTA, with “In Honor of Alexander C” written on the memo line of the check.

Secure credit card donations are also accepted online at www.COTAforAlexanderC.com.

via Centraljersey.com | Central Jersey Community Newspapers, News, Entertainment, Sports, Resturants, Everything in Central Jersey.

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.

Son of Brevard Manatee’s pitcher in need of transplant | Brevard

Last Updated: Saturday, August 09, 2014, 2:25 PM

Brevard Manatees


A minor league baseball player’s 1-year-old son in Brevard County is in desperate need of an intestinal transplant.

The Brevard Manatees held a golf tournament fundraiser to help 21-year-old Jorge Lopez’s family Friday.

Lopez is a pitcher for the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

His son Mikael was born premature, and after not gaining weight and getting pneumonia, doctors said he’s suffering from an unknown auto immune disease and needs an intestinal transplant.

Lopez said it’s been a struggle, but having faith and getting help from his teammates means the world as he tries to help his young child.

“I’m going to do everything for him to progress better,” Lopez said. “He’s amazing for me.”

Funds raised at the golf tournament goes toward helping the family with medical expenses and travel between their homes in Puerto Rico and Miami.

via Son of Brevard Manatee’s pitcher in need of transplant | Brevard.

Surgical, other advances made at UPMC improve graft survival of intestinal, multi-visceral transplant patients – Medical News Today

Friday 1 August 2014 – 2am PST

Innovations in surgical techniques, drugs and immunosuppression have improved survival after intestinal and multi-visceral transplants, according to a retrospective analysis of more than 500 surgeries done at UPMC over nearly 25 years.

The study was led by Goutham Kumar, M.D., a transplant surgery fellow at UPMC’s Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute. Dr. Kumar was recognized for his work with the Young Investigator Award by the 2014 World Transplant Congress and presented his findings at the group’s July 26 to 31 meeting in San Francisco.

“UPMC has led the way in the development of new surgical techniques and important research involving transplantation, and our analysis shows that our innovations have made a real difference to patients,” Dr. Kumar said.

The researchers examined 541 intestinal and multi-visceral transplants done at UPMC from 1990 to 2013. The total consisted of 228 pediatric transplants and 313 adult transplants; 252 were intestine-only transplants, 157 were liver-intestine, 89 were full multi-visceral, and 43 were modified multi-visceral. A majority of the pediatric patients suffered from gastroschisis, followed by volvulus and necrotizing entercolitis. The adult patients needed transplants because of thrombosis, Crohn’s disease or some kind of obstruction.

Researchers analyzed several outcomes and found that pre-conditioning with certain immunosuppressants, the time the graft is outside of the body, certain blood types and a disparity in the gender of donor and recipient were among the factors predicting graft survival.

Co-authors on the study are George Mazariegos, M.D., Guillerme Costa, M.D., Gaurav Gupta, M.D., Dolly Martin, Geoff Bond, M.D., Kyle Soltys, M.D., Rakesh Sindhi, M.D., Abhinav Humar, M.D., and Hiroshi Sogawa, M.D., all of either the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC or UPMC.

In addition to Dr. Kumar, six other UPMC and University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences researchers were recognized this year with Young Investigator Awards by the World Transplant Congress. They and their presentations are:

Aravind Cherukuri, M.D., Ph.D. “Transitional B Cell (TrB) T1/T2 Ratio is a Marker for Graft Dysfunction in Human Kidney Transplant Recipients (KTRs)”

Vinayak Rohan, M.D. “Outcomes of Liver Transplantation for Unresectable Liver Malignancy in Children”

Qing Ding, Ph.D. “TIM-1 Signaling is Required for Maintenance and Induction of Regulatory B Cells Through Apoptotic Cell Binding or TIM-1 Ligation”

Kanishka Mohib, Ph.D. “TIM-4 Expression by C Cells Identifies an Inflammatory B Effector 1 Subset that Promotes Allograft Rejection and Inhibits Tumor Metastases”

Dalia Raich-Regue, Ph.D. “Myeloid Dendritic Cell-Specific mTORC2 Deficiency Enhances Alloreactive Th1 and Th17 Cell Responses and Skin Graft Rejection”

Tripti Singh, M.D. “B Cell Depletion of Naïve Recipients Enhances Graft Reactive T Cell Responses”

via Surgical, other advances made at UPMC improve graft survival of intestinal, multi-visceral transplant patients – Medical News Today.