Tag Archives: multi

San Benito boy recovering after rare eight-organ transplant surgery – KGBT-TV

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A San Benito boy is recovering from a rare eight-organ transplant procedure in Florida.

On February 23, Liam Garza successfully underwent a nine-hour transplant surgery, receiving eight new organs: a liver, stomach, large and small bowel, pancreas, two kidneys, and bladder.

When Liam was born his family realized he had Megacystis Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome — sometimes called Berdon Syndrome. According to the Jackson Health System, it’s a rare prenatal condition involving a dilated urinary bladder, which causes massive abdominal distension, microcolon, and decreased or absent intestinal function.

“He was just a three-month-old baby from Arkansas and his parents decided to donate his organs after losing their loved one. My family and I will never be able to pay them back for this gift of life they gave my son,” said Liam’s mother, Julissa Cerda.

Liam isn’t the first member of the Garza family who needed transplant surgery. Five years ago, transplant surgeons from the University of Miami Health System saved the life of their daughter Delilah Valdez.

In 2011, Delilah received a seven-organ transplant by surgeons at Holtz Children’s Hospital, which is part of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

“Even at the hard tough moments we’ve had, the only choice we had is to stay strong and to stay positive for our children,” Cerda said.

Eight-organ transplant saves life of Texas toddler in Miami – Miami Herald

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Five years ago, Julissa Cerda brought her infant daughter from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to the Miami Transplant Institute so that surgeons could save the girl’s life from a rare and fatal congenital disease that would not allow her to digest food.

The multi-organ transplant surgery was a success. So when her second child also was diagnosed with Berdon syndrome last year, Cerda returned to Miami for surgeons with the University of Miami Health System to save the life of her infant son.

“It didn’t make it any easier to have to do it twice,” Cerda said Friday from the room at Jackson Memorial Hospital where her 1-year-old son, Liam, is recovering from the first eight-organ transplant performed in Florida.

“As a parent, it’s very hard,” she said. “But I stay strong for both of them. They’re the ones going through it. I’m just the support system.”

For this syndrome, organ transplant is the only cure.

Dr. Jennifer Garcia, UHealth pediatric gastroenterologist

About one in a million babies are born with Berdon syndrome, said Jennifer Garcia, a UHealth pediatric gastroenterologist who provides care for Liam and his older sister, Delilah, 6.

Most babies diagnosed with the rare disease, which afflicts the muscles of the bladder and bowels and makes it impossible to hold down food, do not live more than a year without treatment.

“For this syndrome,” Garcia said, “organ transplant is the only cure.”

In 2011, Delilah required seven new organs. Liam needed eight — a liver, stomach, large and small intestine, pancreas, two kidneys and a bladder.

The nine-hour surgery was performed on Feb. 23, about three weeks after Liam was first placed on an organ transplant waiting list, Cerda said.

For Cerda and her family, including Liam’s father, Jose Garza, the uncertainty of finding a matching donor — and the boy’s deteriorating health — made the wait nearly unbearable. The family traveled to Miami in January to prepare for transplant surgery.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, one organ donor can save up to eight lives. April is National Donate Life Month.

“The doctors didn’t guarantee us he was going to make it because he was so ill,” Cerda said.

Prior to the surgery, Liam had been fed his entire life through an intravenous tube inserted into a large blood vessel in his chest. The liquid nutrition kept the boy alive, Garcia said, but it also led to complications, including liver failure.

Now, several weeks after the surgery, Liam has begun to eat solid foods, including carrots, peas and bananas.

“It’s like feeding a newborn,” Cerda said. “We’re teaching him how to eat, but he’s doing amazingly well.”

Liam, who has not left a hospital since he was born, celebrated his first birthday on Feb. 17 at Jackson Memorial.

Cerda said she expects to take Liam home in about four weeks following outpatient therapy in Miami.

“He needs to be medically stable,” she said, “and to make sure there’s no rejection in his organs.”

121,259 People waiting for an organ in the U.S.

Like his sister Delilah, Liam will require a lifetime of care, including anti-rejection medicine and regular consultations with a doctor, Garcia said.

But she added that his outlook for leading a normal life is good and getting better. She noted that a woman who received an intestinal transplant at Jackson Memorial in her teens recently gave birth to her second child.

“Outcomes from intestinal transplant have really improved over the last 20 years,” Garcia said. “The one-year survival is about 90 percent for pediatrics. The five-year survival rate is about 70 to 80 percent. And once you get past five years, it plateaus and stays at 70 to 80 percent.”

Pineville girl waiting on second organ transplant turns 10 – The Daily Advertiser

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Kylie Walleser-Bush made it to double digits on Feb. 10.

“To her, it’s just another birthday, but to us, it’s ‘Thank goodness, another birthday,’” her mom Joan Walleser said.

The Pineville girl is waiting on a multi-organ transplant to give her a small intestine, a liver and pancreas. At just 10 years old, she’s been down this road before.

Kylie was born with malrotation and volvulus, which caused her to lose her small intestine and develop short gut syndrome. She was 17 months old at the time of her first life-saving small bowel transplant. But her body rejected it, which called for removal surgery in 2010.

Birthdays are a big deal to Kylie’s family — and rightfully so.

“We tend to celebrate those milestones big, because we don’t know if we’re promised a prom or a graduation,” Walleser said. “So we celebrate the here and now.”

Memories of past birthdays aren’t so much tainted by the child’s medical history. They are all the more special because of it.

Kylie spent the first half of her second birthday in a Shreveport hospital. She was life-flighted later in the day to Omaha, Nebraska, for medical treatment. She had the flu.

“It just shows how fragile she is even post-transplant,” Walleser said.

Her second birthday party ended up being six months late. But it didn’t matter.

“She needed a party to celebrate,” Walleser told The Town Talk in August of 2008 — and she got one.

“I don’t know how long I have with her,” Walleser said on the day of that party. “But I hope it is many years.”

The mother’s tune is the same today as she looks to next February.

“I hope it’s post-transplant, and we’re celebrating, doing whatever 11-year-olds do,” she said.

This year, Kylie requested a party at Skateville in Pineville. Walleser asked if she remembered how to roller skate. It’s been awhile. Kylie reminded mom she’s older now.

“Now, I can do it without holding anybody’s hand,” she said.

Walleser won’t be surprised if that’s the case. Well, she might be. But Kylie surprising her is nothing new.

In the past two months Kylie has had two surgeries and been hospitalized four times. The last time was two weeks ago. Because of that she was scheduled to make up tests at J. I. Barron Elementary on her birthday. Walleser phoned her teachers that morning because she didn’t think it would happen. Kylie was having a bad morning and tied down to an IV.

But by the afternoon the 10-year-old perked up and wanted to go take her tests. She did and made A’s.

“Even as sick as she is, she still pulls off mostly A’s,” Walleser said. “Her mind is sharp, sharp. But her little body is getting tired.”

Her transplant team knows that her condition is very critical, Walleser said. Kylie is moving up on the waiting list each time she’s hospitalized.

“So we’re just hoping for the call,” she said — and trying not to make that the entire focus of Kylie’s birthday week.

“We’re just celebrating,” Walleser said. “Because we know the medical stuff is coming.”

Kylie’s answers to what her plans are this coming year reflected that. She wants to try out for the cheerleading squad at school and see Disney on Ice, a birthday gift from her big brother and sister-in-law.

“And I can’t wait to have my own car,” she said.

Walleser laughed and said that’s probably not in the cards for her this year.

Kylie turns serious for a minute talking about her first accomplishment as a 10-year-old: singing in her school’s talent show Friday morning. Her song of choice? Fight Song by Rachel Platten.

Mom proudly produces her iPad recording of the performance. As Kylie gets to the end of the chorus, which goes “I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me,” Walleser notes the crowd’s reaction.

“She had a lot of people in tears,” she said.

The upbeat pop song released last year became a favorite of Kylie’s. Her response as to why depends on who she’s talking to.

“Sometimes, she’s just like ‘I just like it. It’s my favorite song,’” Walleser said.

Her response while being interviewed was candid.

“Cause I’m fighting for my life,” she replied.

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